A chat with Derek Jeter
You can win a chance to play Xbox Live against Jeter, Woods, Federer, Henry
Jeter talks about going to a recent UT game wtih Roger Clemens, Minka Kelly
Back in July, we interviewed Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. We tried to get Jeter to address rumors that he was dating Friday Night Lights bombshell Minka Kelly, but he wasn't biting. So, when we were recently asked if we'd like to talk to Jeter about his involvement in the Gillette-EA Sports Champions of Gaming Tournament, we figured this would be our second crack at getting some info from the four-time World Series winner. We also discussed the upcoming election, video games, baseball and much more.
SI.com: Tells us a little about this gaming tournament.
Jeter: It's the Gillete/EA Champions Tournament on Xbox Live. Do you play video games much?
SI.com: Not really. But for people who do, this sounds impressive because they have a chance to play against you, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Thierry Henry.
Jeter: Yeah, but I don't know how much fun fans are going have playing me.
SI.com: Why is that?
Jeter: Because I'm not very good. But I'm working on it. I'm working on my skills. But, yeah, the amazing thing about this is that it's a global tournament. You're going to have people coming from all over the world to play against each other and then coming up with the global champion. I think it's something a lot of people are excited about and looking forward to.
SI.com: Do you play Xbox at all?
Jeter: A little bit. But I really need some time to work on this.
SI.com: Have you played Guitar Hero? I interviewed Joba Chamberlain a couple of months ago, and he said he and a few others would play in the locker room sometimes.
Jeter: That's the younger generation. My generation is into Miss Pacman and old Atari games.
SI.com: Have you watched the postseason at all?
Jeter: I've seen highlights, but I don't sit around and watch the games. If I'm not in it, it's kind of tough for me to sit around and watch a whole game. But I catch highlights, and obviously, living in Tampa, I hear a lot about it.
SI.com: Being that this was the first time in your career you weren't in the postseason, how hard was the first week of the offseason for you?
Jeter: It was weird the last week or so of the regular season after we got eliminated. With the exception of 2001 when we played Game 7 against the Diamondbacks, this was the first time I knew when our season was going to end, and that was a very weird feeling.
SI.com: Speaking of the last week of the regular season, how was that last game at Yankee Stadium?
Jeter: The last game was pretty special. The fans were outstanding. They let the fans in a 1 p.m. that day for a night game, so for them to be as loud and energetic as they were at 11:30 when the game was over says a lot about the Yankees' fans. It's something that all of us will definitely remember.
SI.com: And how about that speech you gave on the field after the game?
Jeter: Joe Girardi took me out in the ninth inning, so I had to hurry up and think of something to say. I just made it up, but I got a lot of positive feedback on it, which was great. I appreciated it.
SI.com: What do you think about the new Stadium?
Jeter: It's pretty impressive. They have everything in there -- museums, conference rooms, restaurants. It's about 500,000 square feet bigger than the old Yankee Stadium. I think the fans are really going to enjoy going to games there.
SI.com: Do you ever come back to New York during the offseason?
Jeter: Not really. I usually just come back for Christmas because my parents are in Jersey.
SI.com: Speaking of your parents, I've always wondered something. They're often shown on the YES network during games, and I've always wondered why they're not in the front row. You're Derek Jeter. Can't you get your parents front-row seats?
Jeter: Do you think they have bad seats?
SI.com: They're not bad. But they seem to be far back in the lower level. I would think they'd be in the front row.
Jeter: (Laughing) They like their seats right where they are. They're only like five or six rows back.
SI.com: OK. My bad.
Jeter: (Laughing) You just called me a bad son, Jimmy.
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