Athlete’s Voices: Kendall Johnson, Episode 4. GUTI
Holy guacamole, time flies! The season is almost over, but we are still hanging on to our playoff hopes by the hairs on our chinny chin chins! These past few weeks, we have come up with some massive results to prevent us from being knocked out of the playoff picture. A large amount of credit to this performance boost goes to our recent Danish transfer, Nadia Nadim, who has been absolutely sensational for us since the moment she stepped on the field. Nadia is just an incredible person both on and off the field and you should all check out all of the articles Graham Hays wrote about her life.
Unfortunately, Nadia had to head back home to fulfill her duties in Denmark, but our entire team is forever grateful to have gotten the chance to play with her and get to know her as a person. With that said, we know we have what it takes to maintain this high level of play, and we plan on using this momentum for our remaining two games.
Currently, we are on our very last away trip. After a gutsy 3-2 victory against Western New York, we are now in Washington D.C and are playing the Washington Spirit tonight.
On most away trips, we room with the same person. I am usually put with my New Jersey roommate, and fellow Oregonian, Maddie Thompson. She is an absolute gem and I thoroughly enjoy her company. However, this trip we were thrown a curve ball and I had the pleasure of rooming with Washingtonian midfielder, Nikki “Guti” Stanton. I haven’t conducted an official study, but I can almost guarantee you that if you asked any of my teammates who is the weirdest person on the team they would say Nikki, without any hesitation. And for the best possible reasons. If I had to describe Nikki’s personality, I’d say she’s a Dory (from Finding Nemo) with narcolepsy. Nikki can talk and talk and talk about anything and everything under the the sun. However, once the conversation has tapered off, she has a tendency to fall asleep without warning. Unbeknownst to her, I’ve been documenting Nikki’s abrupt naps throughout our time together:
When Nikki isn’t napping, she has never ending interesting facts about herself. Just when you think she’s hit you with her weirdest, she ups the scale once again. I’d like to share with you a few of Nikki’s finest stories.
Let’s start with her nickname. When Nikki was younger, she was always the smallest player on field. To make up for this size deficit, Nikki was a feisty little bugger. Whenever she would go up against bigger players she would push them around to the point where they would get upset with her. In response to her opponents’ frustrations, Nikki would always respond with attitude, “Get used to it.” Her coach then turned this remark into her nickname by using its acronym, GUTI (pronounced Goot-E). To this day, Nikki tells people to call her GUTI and gets slightly upset if you don’t comply.
In addition to her nickname, GUTI has a bucket list. This sounds completely normal, as numerous other people, including myself, have a list of things they want to do before they die. But I have never seen one like GUTI’s. The list consists of precisely 478 outlandish items that she wants to complete by the time she is 77. Why 77, you ask? Just because. The list includes things such as sleep in a tree, put a starfish on her face, have dinner with a homeless man, be a mermaid, bathe in an elephant’s trunk etc. She has already completed a handful. In fact, GUTI enjoyed completing the bucket list item of running a mile backwards so much that she now does this activity on a frequent basis. Good for you GUTI, you do you.
GUTI also has a very deep and real obsession with Abraham Lincoln. She can spew out an unreal amount of facts about Abraham from his mother dying from milk poisoning to his favorite food being chicken casserole. On a regular basis, she ponders whether or not the two of them would be good friends if they ever got the chance to meet. She sure hopes so.
There was absolutely no way GUTI was leaving DC without visiting her man at the Lincoln Memorial. I was hesitant to accompany her on this trip because I didn’t want to ruin the mood, but I decided to go with her and was able to capture the moment.
On top of her weirdness, Nikki is one of the kindest, most energetic, and positive people I know, and we are very lucky to have her on our team. I can already sense that you are all really bummed that you won’t get the chance to see GUTI until next year, but boy do I have great news for all of you! On August 18, we will be having a “Meet The Team” event at the Olive Garden in Piscataway (1317 Centenial Ave). If you make it, I know for a fact that GUTI would be delighted to tell you all 478 of her bucket list items. Also, due to our game cancellation against Houston earlier this season, we are now officially playing this game at Yurzak Field on Thursday, August 20th. I hope you can make it!
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