After a busy start to his “European Vacation” in Austria, Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush was looking forward to rest and relaxation over the weekend on the Greek island of Mykonos.
His first few days in Austria as part of a Red Bull tour de force presented him with a busy schedule including meetings, speaking engagements, sporting activities and plenty of media interviews. All the action seemed to have left him hungry for a taste of back home, and one morning when he spotted a McDonald’s nearby he found himself craving a McGriddle – a pancake, egg and sausage biscuit combo.
“I hadn’t had one in a long time and I was starving at the time and I wanted one really bad when I saw the McDonalds sign,” Bush said. “When I went in it wasn’t on the menu, but they had the sausage biscuit and the pancakes, and the bacon, so I just asked them if they could put it all together and the guy just kind of looked at me weird, like, ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’
“What’s funny is when I am back home in the States, I don’t even eat that sort of stuff. But when I get out here, the first thing I want is a McGriddle,” Bush said with a laugh.
Bush is also enjoying his time away from the public spotlight and being recognized right away, a benefit when vacationing abroad.
“It is a little bit more off the radar out here than back in the states,” Bush said. “It’s kind of refreshing. I can go out without signing autographs or taking pictures. Not that I don’t mind it, but it is nice to go to Starbucks or wherever.
“For the most part my experience has been that the people who recognize me [out here] are real true football fans from other countries, or Americans on vacation.”
Since his college days at Southern Cal and winning the Heisman Trophy, to being drafted by the New Orleans Saints and eventually falling into the Kardashian orbit when he dated Kim, Bush has slowly adjusted to his privacy diminishing.
“It started when I was in high school at some level, and then in college it blew up. But I think I have been able to handle it for the most part, and I understand it comes with the territory at the same time,” Bush said. “But when you are on this platform, you need to recognize that you can make a difference.
”Sometimes you get star athletes who are the opposite and don’t want to take pictures or sign autographs. But you are in a position of responsibility at this level, and you have to remember that. You are never going to be able to hide that from that.”
Bush knows he is also unable to hide from critics talking about him or the Dolphins on sports networks, especially ESPN’s SportsCenter. An admitted addict to the show (“When I am home, all I do is watch SportsCenter”), he isn’t bothered when he or his teammates become the topic of discussion.
“No. I’ve been in this position for a long time,” Bush said. “I think at the beginning it used to get to me, but now at the end of the day I know what I am capable of doing and that is the only thing I can control, not what anyone else does or says or what they think. When you are at the professional level, it comes with the territory.”
But while in Mykonos, don’t expect Bush to be tuning into SportsCenter in his hotel room. If sports news happens, someone gets traded, he usually gets a text from a friend to keep him informed.
“I may check the internet a few times,” Bush said.
His plans in Mykonos include working out and relaxing on the beach.
“Reading helps a lot. Right now I am reading the second book of the Hunger Games. And I love going to the spa and getting massages and keep the muscles loose,” Bush said.
“I’ve never been [to Mykonos], but I hear it’s very peaceful and quiet and serene. I am looking forward to relaxing there.”
What about hitting a nightclub or two that Mykonos is famous for with friends he is meeting there?
“I may have to go out once or twice, but for the most part I am trying to relax and just get away from football.
“I try to watch my diet as well. When you get older your metabolism slows down, but I still have a high metabolism, so I try to make sure I eat healthy and stay away from the McGriddles.”