Pike gets rare opportunity overseas
Former Bison safety will continue football career in Germany
Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012 16:03
John Pike has had quite the list of accomplishments over the past six months. Getting to call himself a Missouri Valley champion, a national champion and the guy that sealed the national championship game with an interception are all under his name. The next accomplishment for Pike is becoming a professional football player in Germany.
Pike left for Germany this past Wednesday to continue his career. The adage it’s not what you know, it’s who you know came into play for John, as he now is the first member of this last year’s senior class to get paid to played the game.
“Germany came up through my uncle,” Pike said. “He knew someone who coaches over there, a guy named Joe Roman who graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and he talked to him about NDSU winning a national championship and how his nephew was a pretty good player.”
Roman did contact Pike, but he wasn’t able to sign him because Roman had the maximum number of American players on his team already. Pike’s chances to play didn’t end there, as his name was given out to other coaches in the league. “Another coach from another team offered me what seemed like a great time. I just couldn’t say no,” Pike stated.
Pike will become a member of the Stuttgart Scorpions once he gets to Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgart has a population of 600,000 people, and it’s also the city where Porsches are made. “I think I’ll have to stick to a lesser car,” Pike said about purchasing a Porsche upon arriving.
Football may be the thing that will be the most normal to Pike once he gets there, as the part of the Earth he’s traveling to is newly discovered by him. Aside from football and his travels home to Arizona, he isn’t accustomed to taking long trips.
“Being from Arizona, I traveled to Mexico. It’s only a couple hour drive,” Pike said. “I’ve never been off this continent, I’m excited to go overseas and see what that walk of life is like.” Learning a new culture is never easy, but Pike will take a little bit of experience with him when he gets there.
“[I know] very basic, I took two years in high school,” Pike said of his German-speaking background. “I forgot most of what I learned, but I’m sure a constant reminder of a society where all they speak is German will help me to pick up on some of it, and it will refresh my memory.”
As stated earlier, the list of accomplishments is seemingly a mile long. With the task of juggling school and preparing for the next step of his life, John mentioned it’s been a storybook senior year.
“I’ve been here two year, and what NDSU has accomplished in these two years is just astounding to me,” Pike stated. “We go from a great playoff run my junior year to winning it all my senior year. Seeing all these guys, even the senior class this year, they’re getting chances to go to the next level.”
Pike will start practices today, but will have over a month before his first game on May 15th. John said that the team wants him to play on both sides of the ball, as well as returning kicks and punts. Whatever is asked of Pike on the field is why he’s going, but he said that the experience he anticipates he’ll get is just as much reason to go as the football.