I played American football in Europe for a while before I came to the United States on a permanent basis. I first came to the Unite States in 1997 for a football game in New Orleans. It was actually a pregame for the Superbowl: a European all-star team against a Mexican all-star team. It was February in New Orleans, which is much different than February in Sweden. It was just oppressively humid out. When I had finally decided to come to the United States for football, I had already known the coach at University of Wisconsin Platteville and that was the easiest option for me.
My mom was really worried about me coming over here. She believed that I would meet someone here and never return back home. It was really hard for me to leave my family and friends behind in Sweden, but I didn’t really have any intentions of staying here long-term. In fact, I didn’t really have any long-term plans at all. I pretty much just came over here to see how it all went. I was lucky like that.
I ended up coming over here with one of my good friends. We were actually roommates in Sweden for a couple years before and we ended up being roommates in Platteville as well. He only stayed here for a year, though, before he went back to Sweden. We came over in August and my god, it was so unbearably humid out. I mean Wisconsin in the summer is just awful and I was nowhere near used to that at all. We have like 20-30% humidity in Sweden and we stepped off the plane here and were just immediately drenched in sweat.