There are some real fashion challenged professional athletes out there. If you think that’s a bit harsh just watch a post game conference every now and then and I guarantee you’ll mouth the words, “What are they wearing?”, at least one time. One of those who are the exception to that rule is the New York Jets Calvin Pace who has been building a reputation as not only an up and coming player, but also one of the better dressed guys in the NFL. The burgeoning linebacker recently took some time to give some insight to the upcoming season, his shoe game, and his off the field activities.
Sojones: How excited are you for the upcoming season with all the changes the team made this off season?
CP: I would say “excited” is an understatement. I really feel like last year was great in the sense that we overcame a lot of adversity and found away to win enough games to get to the playoffs and then make a good run there. The additions that we made in the off season, in the draft and via trade only strengthen the great corps of guys we already had.
Sojones: What are your expectations for yourself and the team?
CP: I need to elevate my game to a Pro Bowl level. I’ve already started doing that with weight training and practicing so far. Also, the additions of Jason Taylor, Brodney Pool and Antonio Cromartie are going to help not only me, but everyone on defense. As far as the team goes, I truly believe we will continue to grow as a unit and eventually play Dallas in the Super Bowl.
Sojones: How do you think you rate among other NFL players as far as being fashionable and being able to dress sharply?
CP: I would say I rate pretty high. I can do suits, my casual game is nice, but conservative, and my shoe game is ridiculous.
Sojones: How long have you been into fashion?
CP: I’ve been into fashion since high school. I think being a tall guy is great, but at times it can be hard to find designers that make clothes that fit. I have to search a little harder than most guys who aren’t as tall as me. Since I go to various events throughout the year, I have a lot of opportunities to show off my different looks.
Sojones: What was it that really sparked your interest?
CP: When I was growing up, dressing nice or cool was a status thing, so I always wanted to have the hottest clothes and shoes. As I’ve gotten older, I continued my love for fashion and I’ve found different designers and brands that I really like. They really reflect my personal style, so I try to wear their stuff whenever I have the opportunity.
Sojones: How long did it take you to build your shoe collection up and what are some of your favorite brands?
CP: It’s probably taken 7 years to build my collection. My favorite brands are Nike (old school stuff), Ferragamo for dress shoes, and Supra for outfit shoes.
Sojones: Aside from football and fashion what are some of your other passions?
CP: I love to travel, cook, and fish.
Sojones: How important is charity work and giving back to the community for you?
CP: Charity work is very important to me because it’s obviously a chance to give back and also a chance to connect with the community. I’m very fortunate to be able to play in New York, and I was raised in the Atlanta metropolitan area. That puts me in a great position because both places are such big markets. That gives me a chance to work with various organizations and some great causes.
Michael Mahon attended Clark Atlanta University, where he majored in journalism. He is a regular contributor to SoJones.com and has written for several other online and print publications, including Ballerstatus.com, Allhiphop.com, Creative Loafing Atlanta, and INsite Atlanta. Aside from writing, he is also a huge sports fan and film buff.