First and Globe
Most NFL players spend the off-season recovering from injuries or pumping iron. Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones, 31, spent the spring of 2008 traveling from Switzerland to Singapore, trying his hand at the world's most exotic sports, for his new Travel Channel show, Dhani Tackles the Globe, premiering March 16.
Outside: Does Thai kickboxing count as off-season training?
JONES: It wasn’t just kickboxing. Hurling is a cardiovascular sport; jai alai involves footwork; schwingen [Swiss wrestling] builds upper-body strength. It’s all cross-training.
Do you think you could do any of these other sports professionally?
Rugby, because it’s so close to football, but I had a great time doing schwingen.
That ever create uncomfortable silences back home in the locker room?
It’s a one-on-one sport for grown-ass men. Some people in these villages have been doing schwingen for as long as they’ve been alive, and everything in their house has been provided by wins and losses. It doesn’t matter if you’re in last place or first place; everybody wins somethinga dining-room set, a cow, a horse.
Did you win anything?
I won a bell. It’s not a small bell. This is a 35-pound, hand-carved cowbell.
I’ve read that you commute to practice on a bike.
As much as I can. That’s where I do my meditation.
What kind of bike?
It’s a Cannondale. It’s no Lamborghini or Bentley, but it’ll do. I have my own parking spot, and it doesn’t take up as much space.