- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Each week during the season, we'll chat with a different Detroit Lions player or coach for a look at their lives on and off the field in a feature called "Ten(ish) Questions With..."
In his career, the Parsons, Kan., native has completed 591 of 954 passes for 6,381 yards, 41 touchdowns and 23 interceptions between his time in Minnesota (he didn't play there), San Francisco and the Lions.
Now 33 years old, the Maryland product sat down to discuss his adventures in New Zealand, his senior year of college and, with the help of Stafford, why he wouldn't vacation in New York City that often.
What’s your favorite football memory?
Shaun Hill: Oh man. That’s so hard to say. Favorite football memory? I don’t know, that’s impossible to say. That’s hard to say. Gosh. I don’t know. Give me one section of my football life.
SH: That’s the hardest one.
SH: Okay, we’ll do college then. College was winning the ACC outright and qualifying for the Orange Bowl, that whole experience.
SH: We were picked to finish seventh in the conference that year, preseason, and I remember distinctly having a meeting with a new head coach as he came in that spring and he said to me, and I’m going into my senior year, he says, ‘Hey, we’re not going to be any good this year anyway so if you just don’t completely just beat out these young guys during training camp, I’m going to play one of the young guys throughout the season.’ Then we went ahead and won the ACC.
Was that Ralph Friedgen?
SH: Friedgen, yeah.
Were you like what the heck?
SH: Yeah, like, ‘all right, that’s fun.’
You’re a veteran in the league now, what do you do away from the NFL?
SH: During the offseason I go home and, man, I don’t know. Just kind of do a lot of fishing. Do a lot of work on my river property and the little farm I have.
You grow anything? Crops?
SH: No, because I can’t take care of them all the time, but I’m ready for that. Just all that stuff for getting ready to do that eventually, yeah.
What are you eventually planning on growing? Wheat? Corn? Tomatoes?
SH: No, no. More just have my own garden and just have fresh food for my wife and my family. No, I wouldn’t be an actual crop farmer.
So that’s not your second career?
SH: No, no. Nuh-uh. I mess around doing that stuff. And my wife and I like to take a vacation every year.
Where’s the best place you’ve ever gone?
SH: We really enjoyed our time in New Zealand. Spent eight days there. It was a really neat place to visit.
Why there? What made it a neat place to visit?
SH: We were on the south island. Did kind of a tour of the whole island. It was just something different. A lot of it was unexpected. There was a big earthquake while we were there.
Had you been in an earthquake before? Well, you were in California so I’m guessing yes.
SH: Yeah, in San Fran I felt a few tremors but this one was pretty big, actually. We had just left so it was like an eight-day tour. We were leaving and started the tour. We left our bag, we stopped in Fiji first, so we left our beach bag there at the hotel and we were going to come back and stay there before we flew out again. This is New Zealand, Christchurch. After we left Christchurch, that afternoon, there was a big earthquake. We actually didn’t get our bag back out of the hotel. They couldn’t get in the hotel. We didn’t get it back for four months or something like that, four or five months.
So what did you do the rest of the trip, did you have clothes?
SH: Yeah, we had our New Zealand bag still with us.
Four, five months? You ever think you’d see that bag again?
SH: I chalked it up. Chalked it up to a loss. But it did come back.
So it sounds like you travel a lot. What’s the one place you haven’t gone yet you want to go?
SH: I don’t know, we haven’t done Hawaii yet, which we should have done when we were living out in California. Australia is definitely on our list. I don’t know, we like to do, at least I would like to do Greece.
Is there any place you wouldn’t go?
SH: Gosh, I don’t know.
Matthew Stafford interjects with New York City.
SH: I’ve been there once, that’s plenty.
Hey, watch it.
Matthew Stafford: I’m just telling (the reporter). I love New York.
That’s home (for me).
MS: I’m just saying, for him. He doesn’t like the concrete jungle.
So you would never go to New York City?
SH: No, we’ve been. It’s all right. It’s fine in moderation.
Moderation? Oh man, that just hurts. Not going to lie.
SH: I’m just more comfortable with grass and trees and gravel roads than cement and tall buildings.