MINNEAPOLIS - In the grind of a 17-week NFL regular season, there’s plenty of talk about Xs and Os and game planning as teams try to win games and solidify playoff spots.
Sometimes it’s the conversations away from football that catch us by surprise as we find out what interests some of the top athletes have when they’re not on the field. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was mic’d up for Sunday’s 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium.
While the talk after the win was about Cousins and an awkward celebration with Mike Zimmer, Cousins and Harrison Smith talked movies during pregame warm-ups. Specifically, Nicolas Cage movies.
Cousins shed some light on it during his weekly news conference on Wednesday, and it turns out Tyler Conklin is also involved.
"Harrison made a comment to Tyler Conklin about how is Nicolas Cage viewed as a good actor or bad actor? Conk actually said ‘I think he’s OK, I think he’s fine, I like his movies.’ I’m very much on the same page as Conk, solid. I like National Treasure," Cousins said.
Smith then listed off a series of mid-1990s to early 2000s movies, and Conklin hadn’t seen any of them. Think "Clear and Present Danger," "Patriot Games" and such.
Cousins and Smith came up with a list of 22 movies for Conklin to watch. That apparently started on Monday, after the team went over film from Sunday’s win and players got treatment.
"He started yesterday, watched two or three on the off day which was a tremendous start. He’s got a long ways to go, so I’m kind of living vicariously through him every day," Cousins said about Conklin. "It’s been a good discussion."
So what are Cousins’ favorite Nicolas Cage movies?
"National Treasure is good, I love Guarding Tess. Gone in 60 Seconds, Con Air he (Conklin) watched yesterday. It’s all good," Cousins said. "It’s a great opportunity to educate young people on what the 90s was like. There’s a lot there, and we’re excited to work through it with him."
So for those wondering if they have anything in common with Cousins, here's a glimpse.