Jeff Kent talks about 'Survivor: Philippines'
September, 19, 2012
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
Former baseball MVP Jeff Kent has never been one to mince words.
"It wasn't that big of a challenge for me going into this game. I'm a hunter and a fisherman. I've always been competitive. I've lived on a ranch in Texas for 15 years. Living on an island wasn't going to be that big of a deal."
Tonight, fans will be able to see how big of a deal it was as "Survivor" returns to CBS with 18 contestants vying for the $1 million prize in the Philippines.
Kent, along with TV actress Lisa Whelchel, are the biggest names on the show. The 44-year-old Kent, who retired in 2008 after 16 years of pro baseball, said he went through the same interview process as everyone.
"I wasn't treated any differently than anyone else when it came to casting the show," Kent said. "The experience was great. I'm glad I did it."
Playbook had a few minutes with Kent to talk about the time in the Philippines. He couldn't reveal the outcome of the game, though.
Why would you want to do this?
"I've always been competitive. That's the biggest reason for doing this game. I have a very competitive nature. I like when something pushes me and drives me to be the best I can be. I'm grateful I have this character trait. It's driven me to be successful."
How did you feel about taking off your shirt?
"I think I'm comfortable in my own skin. Anytime around the house or on the ranch, I would do it. And don't forget that I have a wife and four kids. My daughter would keep poking my gut telling me how fat I am. She did that when I was playing ball, too. I'm comfortable without my shirt. I didn't think it was a big deal."
What was the biggest deal of this show?
"It was tough being away from my family. I knew I was going to be gone a long time. I knew it was going to be my biggest challenge. I would play baseball and be gone for three weeks at a time, but I could still communicate with them. Knew that going on the show I wouldn't have any phone or physical contact for weeks on end. That was the toughest decision. That was the determining factor if I was going to play or not."
Was there a lot of backstabbing on the show?
"If you watch the beginning seasons of the show years ago, you would see the show has evolved over time. People are wiser to the game. It's less personal than in the past. Everybody knows that lying, backstabbing and cheating are part of the game. You don't take it personally. I knew going into the show that you have to be prepared for that."
So would you do this again?
"It's a legitimate reality show. It's not really doctored. If the opportunity like this comes to me again, I'd think about it. Being away from my family was tough, but I'm a competitor. That's what I do."