Flying to ChinaWritten by Sidney Rice Wednesday February 16 2011
The off-season continues. I’m leaving tomorrow for China with Jack Brewer and we’re flying straight to Beijing. It’s a 14-hour flight, and that’s the part of this trip that I’m looking forward to the least.
I’ll be there for 12 days. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about China. Everybody I’ve talked to who has been over there said they enjoyed it.
I haven’t learned any Chinese yet. I guess I need to get on that.
We’re going to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Shanghai and Hong Kong. We’re going to visit a couple of art galleries as well.
We’re also going to have a one-day football camp over there. I’ll sign a couple autographs. I don’t think anybody’s going to want an autograph because I’m in the NFL. They might want it just because I’m tall.
We’ll teach them the basics of American football. I’m excited to teach Chinese kids new things about the sport. They’re up on the basketball, now it’s time to introduce them to the pigskin.
For me, I’ve never even left the country before. My friends say I’m skipping about six levels, making China my first excursion out of the U.S. It’s definitely going to be a great experience. I’m most excited about seeing the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. There’s an amazing history over there.
Normally this time of year I’d be relaxing on the beach in Miami or someplace. This will be a great cultural experience. I’m trying to learn new things. I think a lot of people don’t take the time to get out and do different kinds of things. They’re so accustomed to doing the same things all the time. I don’t want to do the same things, I want to get out and see different parts of the world while I can.
In April I’m going to Africa. Liberia, Kenya and a couple other places.
Everbody’s asking me about the labor situation, but it’s really out of our hands now as players. Just have to sit back and wait. I’m sure a lot of people are nervous, not knowing what to do with themselves or when we’ll be reporting to camp. This is the time of year when most players start thinking about getting in shape and doing what they have to do to get ready to be on the football field.
I have no contract right now but I’m still a Viking. I hope to remain a Viking. Hopefully the players and owners will get something done. I’m anxious to get to next season.
Fans, stay tuned. I’ll be updating my Twitter account a lot and sending lots of pics and things while I’m in China.
Sidney Rice is a wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings. His blog for www.playerpress.com runs at www.sidneyrice18.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sidneyrice.