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If there’s one sport that is physically and emotionally taxing to one’s body, it’s football. Many players deal with the arduous task of suiting up every Sunday in hopes of one day competing past January so that they can hoist that coveted Vince Lombardi trophy at the Super Bowl. Years of intense training has prepped Miami Dolphins defensive end, Terrence Fede for the big stage.

Despite playing in the ultra competitive AFC East, Fede plans to double up his efforts from his rookie year and help nab a playoff spot for his Miami Dolphins. Before his season kicks off against the Washington Washington Football Team on Sept. 13, we spoke to the New York native about his favorite pre-game music, how HBO’s smash series Ballers compares to real life football and his expectations for this upcoming season.

Carl Lamarre: I know you’re a huge Kanye West fan. Why do you love My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy so much?

Terrence Fede: “It’s a masterpiece. He did a great job on that album. I remember back when he first dropped the album, it was like sort of a surprise for all the things that he did. The way he took his time to make the album [was amazing.] The hits were good. His videos were interesting. You know, whatever he does, everybody wants to know how he did it and they’re waiting for the next thing that he’s ready to drop. He’s always been one of my favorite guys.”

CL: What were some of your favorite tracks from MBDTF that prepped you for Sundays on the gridiron?

TF: I liked “All of the Lights.” “Runaway” was a good one. “Hell of a Life” [was another one.] I also liked “Power” on that. I pretty much liked the whole album. But those are the few that I liked.

CL: Obviously you’re a Kanye stan, but who else do you like listening to before the big games?

TF: I listen to some Jay Z.

CL: Watch the Throne?

TF: Yup. I listen to some Drake now.

CL: What are some of your favorite Drake songs?

TF: Whatever he’s dropped has been pretty much dope. I’m not gonna lie.

CL: I’m sure that “Back to Back” record has been on repeat in the locker room. 

TF: (Laughs) “Back to Back” was pretty good. It came out of nowhere but it was a banger.

CL: I know you’re an avid video game player and love NBA 2K. Are you excited for the release of NBA 2K16 on September 29th?

TF: “See, I’ve been so busy that I didn’t even know when it was dropping. But, whenever it does drop, I know I’ll have it in the house. But I also play FIFA.”

CL: Let’s segue over to the HBO show, Ballers. What are some similarities between the show that really highlights the lives of everyday football players and the NFL?

TF: “In the show, it has its moments where it’s like so dramatic where things wouldn’t happen, but for the most part, some of it is true. You know, trying to handle your life and football. You know, there’s gonna be a lot of distractions in your life, but you just have to have the right surroundings around you. As long as you have the right people around you, you’ll be fine. It’s a good show for fans and a lot of people get to see what we go through. But there are some things that are overdramatic and I don’t want people to think all of that is true. Overall, for the most part, it’s pretty cool.”

CL: When you’re not grinding hard on the field, what do you like to watch on your spare time? You’re a big Empire guy, right?

TF: “Yeah. When Empire was out, I was watching it.”

CL: Empire is set to come out this month, too.

TF: “Yeah! I heard about that. I gotta look out for that too.”

Who’s your favorite character on Empire?

TF: “Lucious (Laughs). He’s the head guy, man. He has the power. He has the juice. He’s awesome.”

CL: Hopefully, we can get Terrence Howard to sing the National Anthem at one of your home games this year.

TF: “That would be cool. (Laughs)”

CL: You’re in a very rugged AFC East division this year. If you were to predict that Dolphins’ record for this upcoming season, what would it be?

TF: “Shoot, man. I’m just gonna take it game by game. I can’t predict the whole season. What I do know is that our goal is to make it to the playoffs and eventually make it the Super Bowl and win. Ultimately, we’re just trying to take it game by game. If you think too much into the future, that’s when you fall downhill. So, we’re gonna start Sunday against the Washington Football Team and we’ll see from there.”

CL: Any expectations for yourself this season?

TF: “I definitely want to be able to contribute more than what I did last year. You know, last year I was more of a guy who was a hole filler. If someone needed a break, I would go in. This year, I see myself being more in the rotation and having a bigger role on the team. So I’m looking forward to making big major impacts in the game to help our team win.”

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