Former NFL star takes up curling

Sports

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Jared Allen spent twelve years terrorizing Quarterbacks in the NFL. 

In his prime, he was one of the most-feared pass rushers in the league, posting 136 sacks with the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. 

He retired in 2015 but he still had the urge to compete. So, he took up curling. 

This week, Allen is competing in the USA Curling Nationals in Kalamazoo.

“I think, as you get older, you learn you have to challenge yourself. You never stop reading, right?  People say reading keeps your brain young. Businessmen are constantly working. People are like, ‘You made a bunch of money, why are you still working?’ It’s about the activity of challenging yourself at something new,” he said.

Allen is an alternate for Team Ruohonen. On Tuesday, he saw his first action in the championships. His goal is to compete in the Olympics in 2020, but he’ll need to improve, and he knows that. 

He’ll also have to deal with getting grief from his teammates, who are quick to dish it out.

“We were really glad to get him in that game. And we’re like, ‘Hey, you shot 50 percent. You probably have to pick it up next time.’ Ha. We’re not treating him any different from the other members of the team. Now we hope he doesn’t pound us into the ground. He’s a really big dude,” said Team Ruohonen skipper Rick Ruohonen.

The USA Curling Nationals continue through Saturday at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo.

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