Indianapolis Colts long snapper Matt Overton is rooting for the San Francisco Giants in the World Series and went as far as to put Giants ball caps on his dogs, but that doesn’t mean he follows baseball all season long, as he reveals in this recent chat with Phillip B. Wilson.
Phil B: So the dog picture says it all? Maybe we should make introductions on your animals.
Matt: I recent adopted a pit bull from the Indy Humane Society. Great people over there. Her name is Riley. She’s the red-nosed pit bull on the left, about one year old. Cooper is a lab-pit bull-Great Dane mix. He’s 3. I adopted him in Nebraska when I lived there.
Phil B: They look comfortable in the Giants orange.
Matt: One Giants hat is the 49ers colors, then the other hat is the original black and orange.
Phil B: So that’s where you come out, letting everybody know where you stand on the World Series?
Matt: Let me clear the air here. I am a fan of baseball, however, I do not watch from April to October. I think it’s ridiculous how long the season is. The fact that you can be horrible for half the year and then bounce back. So many games played, that’s five games a week they play damn near, so I don’t keep up with it too much. The Giants don’t get a lot of exposure in the Midwest, so it’s the Royals, the Cubs or the White Sox or the Cardinals. It’s exciting to see them make the Wild Card and win that, and make it to the World Series. Coincidentally, the (ESPN) 30-for-30 is coming out on when the World Series stopped, the documentary about the 1989 earthquake and the World Series between the A’s and the Giants. I experienced the earthquake myself. It’s pretty cool to see that come out and have the Giants again in the World Series.
Phil B: Where were you for the earthquake?
Matt: I was at home, about an hour East of San Francisco. It was such a high magnitude earthquake, it was felt all the way in the valley. I remember just being in the kitchen with my mom when it happened. Then obviously we followed the disaster. My dad being a police officer, he had to be involved with all that stuff in the Bay Area when it happened. Pretty scary, you know?
Phil B: So the puppies are the cheering section?
Matt: Yeah, and then my roommate is a diehard Giants fan. We watch every game. He has his lucky Will Clark jersey and his lucky beers that he drinks. He’s pretty superstitious when it comes to that.
Phil B: Do you have a lucky Giants jersey?
Matt: No, I don’t have a jersey. I was a Barry Bonds fan, Will Clark, Jeff Kent, a lot of the guys who came through there, not to mention the game-day experience for the Giants is pretty awesome. That stadium is phenomenal, right on Willie McCovey Cove. Pretty cool.
Phil B: I see more and more of you in the public, not only a guy who has been embraced but you really embrace the public, the pictures you take with people, put on Facebook and Twitter. You genuinely care.
Matt: I’m lucky to be here, no doubt about it. It took me a long time to get here. I’m totally embracing it. Indianapolis is such a tight-knit community and everyone is so giving and nice and loyal to us. No matter the circumstances, they always seem to put the Colts ahead of their own life’s problems. The cheer for us every week, even after a loss. I’ve met some of the nicest people out here. Ever since I came here to Indy, they’ve really welcomed me with open arms. I just feel blessed to be here and any way I can give back and serve the community, that’s what I’m here for.
Phil B: You always maintained the approachable persona.
Matt: Yeah, I’ve just got to be myself off the field. Same with Pat McAfee, he’s like that as well. I think the social media helps us bridge that gap between athlete and fan. It’s a way for us to communicate. But when we meet in public, just be who you are. I’ve never really liked the athlete who shuns the fan in public and doesn’t sign an autograph for a kid. Any chance I can get to show my thanks to them, I do it. I think it’s important.
Phil B: Tuesday becomes an important day?
Matt: Absolutely, get out in the community and do whatever you can. I do a lot of stuff with Riley Hospital, but I try to help out wherever it is, especially with breast cancer awareness this month. Stephanie Cassel and the Colts community program does a great job of getting us involved in so many things. It’s great.
Phil B: We haven’t talked in a while. Is Justin Bieber still on board following you on Twitter?
Matt: (Laughs.) I believe so, along with the quarter of a million other people he follows, or whatever it is.
Phil B: Any other new Twitter followers?
Matt: A couple country artists, I’m big in the country thing. Probably my favorite one is Brantley Gilbert, I’m a big fan of Brantley Gilbert. Chase Rice is another one. I love being active with those guys and supporting them in their careers, too.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.