Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Jordan Wiseley of 'Real World' talks sports
By Lynn Hoppes
"Real World: Portland" begins tonight on MTV, and it might be the most athletic group ever in the 27-year history of the show.
Let's look at the roster:
• Nia Moore played volleyball at Howard University.
• Marlon Williams played linebacker for Texas Tech University and pro football in Canada.
• Avery Tressler played volleyball and basketball at Britton High School in Michigan.
• Johnny Reilly played hockey at Coyle & Cassidy High School in Taunton, Mass.
• Joi Niemeyer played basketball at Kingston High School in Hansville, Wash.
• Jordan Wiseley played baseball, football and wrestled at Mustang High in Oklahoma before becoming a college wakeboarder at Oklahoma State.
"Everyone on the show really had something they were good at," Wiseley said. "I think Marlon and I turned everything into a competition. Nerf. Pool. Ping-pong. It all got really heated. Everyone's competitive background came into play."
That's what happens when you put seven strangers in a house together.
Playbook had a few minutes with Wiseley to talk sports and the show.
You're from Oklahoma. Wakeboarding?
"I tried my hand at everything else. I went to the lake and picked up a wakeboard and thought this isn't bad. I'll do this."
I know you're just joking. It takes more than that. How big of an athlete were you in high school?
"Baseball was my bread and butter. I was recruited to visit the University of Arkansas after my sophomore year. I was a pitcher. At the end of my junior year, I hurt my arm and had Tommy John surgery. I came back and was approached by some Detroit Tigers scouts. I had it in my head that I was going to tear my arm again so I gave it up. I played football and wrestled in high school and I walked on to Central Oklahoma State as a quarterback. I decided in college that I wanted to just become a student. Then I talked to some people at Oklahoma State and I went to school and wakeboard there."
You also won some national titles as a cheerleader?
"It was during picture day in high school when the cheerleaders were talking about how their sport was. Me and a few friends tried out for some teams and we started winning these national tournaments. I had been used to competing and at wrestling tournaments there were 3,000 guys and about 100 girls there. When we went to the cheerleading competition, there were 10,000 girls and only 500 guys! It was a no-brainer to do."
Most people don't know you were born with a disability but you never let that bother you.
"When I was born, the doctor told my dad that everything is good except that I'm missing my left hand. My dad took a minute. He stepped into the other room and came back. He decided not to raise me any differently. That's how it went. We started with baseball and I adjusted. It never stopped me."
How did you get picked for the "Real World?"
"It was dumb luck. I went to a bar in downtown Oklahoma City. People were lined up and someone asked me whether I was here for the casting call. I was there to just get a beer. I interviewed and about three months later I was on a plane to Portland."
What did you learn about yourself on the show?
"People say it's scripted and orchestrated. It's not. It really is seven strangers showing up in a strange house. I did not expect to learn as much about myself as I did. After some situations, I look back and can't believe I let myself get that heated. I can't believe when I went too far. Sometimes I look back and don't think that's really me. A lot of times I was saying things in my head wondering whether it would sound badly if it came out. Would that be taken wrong?"
So what's next after the show?
"I still work in the construction company with my father. And my friend and I hae a clothing company called Livid Clothing. We screen print our own shirts and board shorts in our garage and attic. We know now is time to capitalize. We see an alleyway. I'm ready for what's ahead."