INDIANAPOLIS -- As one might expect at such a global event as the Super Bowl, media from all over the world have descended upon Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI. And so, it came as no shock to see the German-born Sebastian Vollmer holding court today for German-speaking reporters during the Patriots' media availability session at the team's headquarters, the University Place Conference Center and Hotel.
Vollmer, a native of Kaarst, Germany, seemed at home in the Hoosier State speaking his native tongue as he fluently conversed with reporters from his homeland. The Patriots' right tackle no doubt told them he was feeling fine (after missing the last seven games with back and foot issues) and looking forward to playing against the Giants in Sunday's Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium.
It was worth nothing that Vollmer could hardly speak English when he came to the United States to play colllege football at the University of Houston. After his four-year term, Vollmer had become fluent in football as well the English language, despite having to overcome a language barrier of another sort when he had to decode the Texas twang of then UH-coach Art Briles.
And that, likely, is how Sebastian earned the college nickname of "SeaBass."
Looking to join in the conversation, I pulled up a chair next to Vollmer and immediately felt left out of it when he carried on in German.
I figured to engage the multi-lingual Vollmer in a language that was more within my grasp when I asked him, "Sprechen sie espanol?"
"I could try,'' he said (in English). "But it might be a short conversation.''
"I figured you might have picked it up a bit, seeing as you spent so much time in Texas during college,'' I explained.
"I should have,'' he said, smiling. "I should have.''
When it came to Vollmer's feeling about making the first Super Bowl appearance of his career, there was no translation needed.
"Obviously, it's such a great game and you just don't know when you're going to get back or if you're going to get back,'' he said. "To play in a Super Bowl, it's what any player dreams of, so it'll be very special. But still, if you play or not, you're still part of the team and you worked hard whatever you're role was during the year.
"So everyone deserves to be here and I'm sure everyone is excited,'' he said. "It's going to be an amazing feeling."
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