If Mike Reilly didn’t pick up a football and become a quarterback, he’d probably be building houses.
Building, flipping, renovating, anything that involves construction of a home, Mike wants in.
He’s slowly working on renovating his own house in Seattle, Washington, but having a newborn baby and leading a football team kinda has taken up a lot (or all) of his free time.
That being said, something tells me Mike’s okay with that right now. I mean, the Esks are third in the West plus he just got back his favourite receiver from 2016, Derel Walker. He’s also won two Grey Cups – one in BC in 2011 and one in Edmonton in 2015.
But even with his busy schedule and successful football career, Mike is still willing to make some time to be an intern. Yup, an off-season internship with Mike Holmes to pick his brain about renovation and construction is something Reilly is really interested in.
Also, Mike’s ideal dinner party would consist of his late grandfather, his dad, Aaron Rodgers and Dan Marino. Just a hunch, but I’m thinking that that there would be a LOT of football talk at that table.
And would he choose his receiver or offensive lineman to join him if he was stranded on a deserted island? Find out in this edition of TMI!:
Kristina Costabile: What do you like to do in your free time?
Mike Reilly: During the season I don’t really have much free time. It’s pretty much all football. I have a new baby girl, she’s 10 months and a couple days, so family time takes up pretty much all of my free time.
KC: Tell me something that fans might not know about you?
MR: I will say that I’ve always been big into the construction industry. I worked construction building custom homes while I was in college and I just fell in love with it. I’m a huge HGTV, DIY Network kind of guy. I watch all the shows. We bought a house in Seattle two years ago that I’m slowly renovating during the off-seasons. That’s kind my passion. In a perfect world I could become one of those house flippers on TV. Someday I hope to get the opportunity to meet Mike Holmes and pick his brain a little bit. Who knows many an off-season internship is in my future, I don’t know!
KC: So if you weren’t playing football you’d be doing some sort of home renovations, construction, etc?
MR: Ideally, I would love to build custom homes. Go buy a piece of property and build an amazing home on it. You gotta start from somewhere and I’m currently a one-man show when I’m doing stuff at my house. I’d have to find a crew if I’m going to actually do the whole deal.
KC: Maybe you can recruit some teammates?
MR: We’ve got plenty of guys that can lift a lot of weight so that would be helpful!
KC: What is on your pre-game playlist?
MR: My pre-game playlist is pretty random. I don’t really have a pre-game playlist. I mostly just take my phone and I put it on shuffle and it’s terrible because I usually skip like 10 songs at a time until I find one that hits me in the right way. I have everything. I don’t have one genre that I particularly listen to. I have country music, I have hip hop, I have R&B, I have oldies, I have house music, techno stuff. I have a little bit of everything on there. But one thing that would probably surprise people is Waylon Jennings. My dad used to listen to Waylon all the time. We used to up to the ski resort, it would be a three-hour drive, and we’d be in his Jeep and we’d be rocking out to Waylon Jennings non-stop. So any time that one of those songs pop up on my shuffle, those don’t get skipped by. Anything else is liable to get skipped but if Waylon pops on, I’m listening to that for sure.
KC: Do you have any superstitions or routines that you have to do before a game?
MR: I used to have a lot. I think as I’ve gotten more experienced I’ve learned to kind of let those things go realizing that they have really no impact on the game. But one thing that I do every single game is text my wife 20 minutes before the game starts. We come out here and we do our warmups an hour before the game, we come back in with 20 minutes left and I always grab my phone and I always text her the same exact thing every single time. I basically just tell her I love her and my daughter and that I’m ready for the game. That’s just a message I want them to know every time I go on the field.
KC: If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could take one of your teammates with you, who would it be?
MR: Man, that is a tough question! I could go with so many people. The one obvious answer could be Matt O’Donnell because he’s 6-11 and he could reach all of the coconuts in the trees and can probably just rip trees out of the ground to build some shelter. Honestly, if I’m stranded there for a while it would probably have to be my guy Adarius Bowman. First of all, he’s fast, he’s got long arms he could probably catch any kind of wild life or food substance that we needed. But more so than that, he’s hilarious. He’s like one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet. I think if you’re stranded on an island, you’re going to go crazy regardless but you may as well have some comedy relief while you’re there. There would never be a dull moment if he was on that island. So I’d go with Bowman, no question.
KC: If you could have a dinner party with any four people living or dead, who would they be?
MR: My grandfather, who I’ve never met before because he passed away before I was born. That’s who I’m named after, his name is Mike Reilly. I would love to have dinner with him just because I never got to meet him. I heard he was an awesome guy. If I was going to have him at dinner, I would want to have my dad there too just so I could see them interact and hear stories about when my dad was a kid and stuff like that. So those two would have to be there for sure. I’d probably throw Dan Marino in the mix just because I’ve never met him and he’s somebody that I always watched growing up as a kid. I wanted to be like him, that’s why I wear number 13. I’d probably leave it at the four of us, me, my dad, my grandpa and Dan Marino, just hanging out. Actually, I’d probably throw Aaron Rodgers in as well just because he’s a cool dude and I like him a lot.
KC: What is your favourite football memory?
MR: Winning the Grey Cup. I mean, that tops everything, there’s no doubt about it. It’s just a culmination of all of the hard work and the sacrifices made not just by me, by my teammates and my coaches, but also by all of our families. I think the coolest part of winning the Grey Cup was being able to celebrate with the trophy on stage with my teammates and then getting off the stage and being able to see my parents and my wife and her parents out on the field and just enjoy that moment too. Like I said, us as players, we sacrifice a lot, we work really hard but more than that, our families sacrifice so much. For them to be able to enjoy that moment and celebrate it, that was a pretty special memory and I hope to create more of those memories in the future but up to this point that was my favourite part of playing football.