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We are completely awed by the signing of Skullcandy’s first NFL athlete, Buffalo Bills’ #1 wide receiver, Stevie Johnson. An elite athlete with a passion for music, Stevie is living the Skullcandy brand. We’re stoked about the relationship and ready to cheer on his Bills all NFL season. Wait until you see what we have planned for him in the off-season.
We also owe him big thanks for letting us invade his home in Buffalo and sitting with us for what turned out to be a lengthy Q&A session. Check it.
SKDY: With your contract extension, looks like you’re going to be in Buffalo for a while. What should we know about Buffalo that’s cool? How’s the family like Buffalo?
STEVIE: The cool thing to know about Buffalo is that the people give it to you straight. If you’re doing good they congratulate you. And when you’re doing bad they’ll let you know you’re doing bad. I appreciate that.
The family is great. You’ll find us at the mall or running around with the kids. But we pretty much keep it at the house during the season. We save all the good fun for the off-season. I’ve been to Niagara Fall probably three or four times and it’s pretty sweet. The best time is at night, if you ever get the chance to go.
SKDY: We tend to like your TD celebrations but can’t imagine they allow you to have a Sharpie on the bench. How much do you plan before the game? Think you’ll tone it down some?
STEVIE: My touchdown dances just come out. I don’t plan half of them, and most come during the week or sometimes during the game.
There was a game in New England where I didn’t plan to do anything. I just wanted to get in the end zone. But they have these Patriots fans with muskets on the sidelines. And when New England scores they shoot them off. I was sitting with my teammates and I jumped when it happened. So I had something for them. When I got in the end zone I ran in the back by their fans and acted like I had a musket, too. I shot it off and pretended the backfire made me fall. After, the New England fans kind of hated me. But it just comes about, during the games or during the week. I’m just trying to have fun out there.
The Buffalo Bills have showed me a lot of love. When they gave me a new contract, it meant 'we’re going rock with you.' So I feel like I owe it to them to tone it down and not get the fines or penalties. That’s one thing I am going to change. But anything that won’t get me a fine or penalty, I’m game for it.
SKDY: What teams do you most look forward to playing in the 2012 season? What are the big games?
STEVIE: Every game is big when you’re part of the Bills franchise. We haven’t been to the playoffs in like 12 or 13 years so it’s not our job to say this game is big or that game is big. We have to make every game big.
We haven’t done anything if we get five, six or seven wins. You need 10 or 11 wins to get to the playoffs. I’m really focused on changing the mindset of the team to get to the playoffs because those are the real big games. But right now every game is big for us.
SKDY: Is music part of your pre-game ritual? What do you listen to – looking to get pumped up or to chill?
STEVIE: Music is definitely part of my pre-game ritual. I haven’t picked up the knack to run my routes with headphones on. But once I get in the locker room, I put on my Skullcandys and just vibe out for a little bit to get ready for the game.
Before games, I’m usually zoning out to some of my favorite artists. I’m listening to YB the Rockstar, ASAP Rocky, and some weekend music just to change it up. I listen to Drake and I got 2 Chainz in there right now to get hyped. Rick Ross, too. I just put it on shuffle and go.
I’ve heard a few people in the locker room saying my lyrics even though I have never piped my mix tape into the locker room. The guys told me they downloaded it and now they are listening to my tracks.
SKDY: What music did you listen to growing up? Has your taste in music changed at all? What’s currently on your playlist?
My music taste has stayed same for the most part. But my wife has expanded it, so I listen to everything now – Country, R&B, Indie-pop, some Rock. Being on a football team, you listen to a lot of stuff the guys like, too. I don’t hate any type of music. I listen to it all.
SKDY: Tell us about your connection with G5-Gi. How’d that “Why so serious” mix tape project come about?
STEVIE: My rookie year, I wasn’t playing much. Just practicing, basically, just on the team. A teammate had a full set up and invited me to check it out. Gi is a local artist out here in Buffalo and he was there. We just built a connection though we didn’t lay tracks down or anything.
Next thing you know, even as I started playing more, we ended up in the studio. I had done this “Why so serious” touchdown celebration and he’s like, “Let’s make a mix tape and call it ‘Why so serious.’’’ We put it together in a week and a half.
“Why so serious” came from Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, a couple of my favorite receivers. They were calling themselves Batman and Robin out in Cincinnati. So, I’m looking at their highlights and at what makes them so different. They were doing celebrations after their touchdowns and getting fans involved in the game. Pretty dope.
When we played Cincinnati, it came into my mind that I’m going to be the Joker. I’m going to spoil the day. I got a marker and my shirt and wrote “Why so serious.” I ended up having three touchdowns that game and when I lifted my shirt, it blew up.
That was my first fine, $10,000 for showing a message on my shirt. I didn’t know I was going to get in trouble for it. The fans liked it.
SKDY: “Handle your business, have fun” has to be one of our favorite tag lines ever. Sounds like Skullcandy’s motto. You trademarked that yet?
STEVIE: I didn’t just come up with “Handle biz, have fun” because it sounds cool. It came about 2 years ago, after I scored three touchdowns in a game. I was so hyped about it I don’t even remember practicing the next week. It was like interview after interview. And I thought I’ll just show up next game, get a 100 yards again, a couple of touchdowns, and we’re going to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That’s where I went wrong and I had the worst game of my career. Dropped 5 or 6 passes. I went from high to basically the bottom. So I put that together: I was trying to have fun before I was taking care of business. You got to handle business before you have fun.
To answer your question, no I haven’t trade marked it.