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Q&A: Drew Carey

Posted: Tuesday June 14, 2005 1:08PM; Updated: Tuesday June 14, 2005 4:58PM
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t1_costarica_carey.jpg
Kasey Keller recorded his 38th shutout in this match against Costa Rica.
Drew Carey

Last week, Sports Illustrated associate editor Richard Deitsch interviewed Drew Carey for the magazine's Q&A. The actor-comedian has been following the U.S. men's national soccer  team -- and moonlighting as a photographer. Here are some of Carey's photographs and excerpts from the interview.

SI: Drew Carey, sports photographer. How did this come about?
Carey: If I wasn't a comic or TV star, I really wanted to be a photojournalist. That was my other dream job. I really envy [photographer] Carolyn Cole from the Los Angeles Times and when I see Christiane Amanpour on CNN I think to myself: "Man, wouldn't it be great to be her cameraman and just be there with her at these cool places where history is changing?" I envied those people and those jobs. I think they are super brave and smart, all the things I want to be. Being a celebrity you always get really good seats to sporting events but you never get as good seats as the photographers get. And I really love sports. So one of the scams I have going now is I want to learn sports photography so I can get better seats at a sporting event (laughs).

SI: Are you getting better as a shooter?
Carey: I'm a hundred thousand percent better than when I first started. I think by the time the World Cup comes around, I'll be pretty dependable and consistent.

SI: Is there a sporting event you dream of shooting?
Carey: The World Cup. My goal is to get credentialed. So far I have tickets but photo credentials are a whole other thing.

SI: How did you first get into soccer?
Carey: I used to watch the World Cup, and every once in awhile I'd flip around and see a foreign game on so I'd watch it for the heck of it. I was reading about the Home Depot Center the first year it opened and I told my girlfriend at the time that we should go down and see a game there. We both went and just fell in love with it. It's the best place in L.A. to see a sporting event -- except when Chivas plays (laughs). Then I thought, since I wanted to keep coming [to the Home Depot Center], I should learn more about the game. I started buying books on soccer, such as Soccer For Dummies that explained the rules, and books on the history of the game. I decided to follow the men's team through all the qualifying because I wanted an excuse to travel. I could go to Panama and Trinidad, where I hadn't been before. I'm using soccer as an excuse to travel.

SI: Why does the game fascinate you?
Carey: I like everything about it. I love that it's worldwide. I love the athleticism of the players. It really is the beautiful game. There's such a good flow to the game and the pace of the game. I like that it's creative and that people have to think on their feet. There's no time outs, no stopping, so you can't organize a quote, unquote play. You just have to be aware of everybody else on the field at all times and the way it always changes. It's an exciting game.

SI: What has the U.S. soccer community's reaction been to your support of the team?
Carey: Very positive. They gave me photo passes right away. Michael Kammarman [press officer] and Pam Perkins [general manager of U.S. soccer] have been really nice to me. In Trinidad, Kammarman said to me: If you really want to travel and see good soccer, you should go see a Rangers-Celtic match in Scotland. So it turned out there was a Rangers-Celtic match just a couple of weeks after that. I was already looking into going because I'm in career mode on my Xbox and I was managing Rangers. I tried a broker and the broker could not get tickets. The broker called a guy in England who told us he could get us Man United tickets anywhere I wanted but it takes a couple of months to get Rangers-Celtics tickets. Finally, Kammarman got them through his connections in the U.S. soccer world.

SI: Ever experience anything like that in American sports?
Carey: I've never been to a Browns-Steelers game where they had to have the Steelers fans come in a separate entrance for safety and be separated by a double row of police so there wouldn't be a knife fight. I've never been to a 49ers-Raiders game where if the Niners scored, the Raiders fans would not even look their way. At the Celtic home game, when the Rangers scored all the Celtic fans would not even look in their direction. They just went totally silent and stared down at the field.

SI: Anyone recognize you?
Carey: I was totally anonymous. They didn't know Drew Carey from Adam. That's nice when you want to just move around the just enjoy the country as a tourist. But its bad when you are trying to get tickets.

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