What's a nice guy like Ryan Hoag doing making a second appearance on a reality dating show?
A few years ago he vied for the affections of one of those ABC bachelorettes. Last week the Minneapolis Roosevelt High School dean was bounced off the icky "Bachelor Pad." The non-drinking former NFL and CFL pro football player who's saving himself for marriage is apparently irresistible to reality show casting agents. Hoag was mainly drawn into the "Bachelor Pad" by the money. "While I am disappointed I didn't win the $250,000 or get to donate some of that to Upstream Arts or get publicity for it, it was an experience that 10 years from now," Hoag said, "I'll be, 'It was silly. I'm glad I did it. I was single, I could do things like that.'"
My startribune.com/video of Hoag was shot in his compact Minneapolis bachelor pad amusingly equipped with two TVs about 10 paces apart. He may have less time for TV if there's a response to this, from the Twitter account of @ryanscotthoag: "@lolojones rumor has it we would make a good couple #tebowaintgotnothinonme."
Q Why did you keep going on these unrealistic TV dating shows?
A Clearly I'm a glutton for punishment. I told myself I was done with reality TV. The opportunity was presented to me right before they were casting the show. Would this be something you'd be interested in and I said, "To be honest I'm not." But the more I got to talk to them not only did I realize there was a game show aspect to it with a $250,000 cash prize but they were going to allow me to use [it] as a platform for something near and dear to my heart, Upstream Arts, which is a nonprofit at the Pillsbury House in Minneapolis. We do arts education promoting social skills for students and adults with disabilities. I've been a part of it for the last three years. They told me I could promote that on the show and if I won the cash prize I could donate part of the winnings to Upstream Arts.
That in and of itself was reason enough to go on "Bachelor Pad."
Q What stupid things did they have you doing on "Bachelor Pad"? I ask because you know I couldn't watch it.
A You're a smart woman for not subjecting yourself, and I apologize to anyone, any of "my fans" out there who had to sit through it. Thank goodness I didn't last very long, once again. We did rhythmic gymnastics where we had to wear a onesie spandex leotard. I actually have it if you'd like to see it because I don't know if I'm going to prance around in it anymore. Then we did this physical challenge called falling out of love. Then the normal day-to-day debauchery. The pool parties. The cocktail parties. The rose ceremonies.
Q Has Chris Harrison become a little more full of himself between the time you saw him on "Bachelorette" and "Bachelor Pad"?
A Well, Chris is single now. He probably has a little more swagger. Probably taking more notice of the fact that he has his share of fans out there. He's very good at what he does and he knows it. He's pleasant enough; maybe not a guy I'd go to dinner with but, you know, he's all right.
Q Did you kiss anybody at the "Bachelor Pad"?
A No, far from kissing anybody. Don't get me wrong: There was plenty of that going on. Any time there is a room in the house named the "Boom Boom Room" you know that more than kissing goes on. It was just absolutely ridiculous. The thing I could never understand is that you have moms, dads, grandparents. You will eventually have kids [who] watch this. Think about what you're doing on national TV. Pretty much everybody didn't care or were too ignorant or too drunk to realize.
Q Did you have to get tested for STDs?
A Prior to the application process you get a ton of different tests. Every single STD test. Psychological exam with a psychiatrist [who] sits you down for an hour; you Skype with them. A criminal background check with a private investigator. They know everything and anything about your past. You take surveys; you do phone interviews. It's quite an extensive process.
Q What hurts more: being Mr. Irrelevant in the 2003 draft or two bachelor TV reality shows and still no final rose?
A I don't think any of them really hurt. To be one of 262 people drafted, I was more focused on the fact that I was blessed enough to be drafted [by the NFL] than that I was last. Later came to find out being last is actually a pretty sweet thing. They take care of you very well.
Q Is being a virgin at "Bachelor Pad" like being the sober person in a room full of drunks?
A Times 10, I would say. When you combine the two, then you are certainly the outcast. For the most part, people were respectful.
Q Did your NFL teammates tease you about being a virgin?
A When people started to find out on maybe three of the five teams, [I] was outwardly, not viciously, teased. They busted my chops. However, when we were alone the same guys who were making fun of me said, "Hey I completely respect that" [and] "Wish I could say the same," which was cool.
Q How did you handle the attention of scantily clad, pro-athlete-eating groupies?
A Sat back and kind of laughed at how some people approach or handle those situations. It's really a sad, sad thing. I never got to a level like Michael Jordan, where it's 24/7. But being a local kid and playing for your hometown team, people are going to get to know you. The one thing that was always hard for me: You always have to think in the back of your mind: "Is their initial intrigue because you are a professional athlete or reality TV person or that they are genuinely attracted to you and want to get to know you for who you are?" If I were to meet Halle Berry at a bar and decide we want to go on a date, I'm telling my friends, "Guess who I have a date with tomorrow? By the way we have this, this or this in common." I'm probably guilty of it as well.
Q Have you ever read a Playboy magazine?
A Do you really read Playboy magazine? I was IN Playboy. They had "Mr. Irrelevant 2003." I had to thumb through to find my name; I didn't know what page it was on.
Q Ever bought a Playboy?
A Never. Not that I think that's right or anything or do I want to look. You can look around here, there's nothing like that [in my home].
Q Is being a 32-year-old virgin starting to become a burden?
A It's certainly bordering on the creepy factor. But I would never call it a burden. It's something I embrace. It's something one person is really going to appreciate one day. Any feeling of a burden dissipates real quick when I think about that. It's a moniker. It's something that ABC eats up.
Q What do you think of "The Virgin Bachelor" concept?
A First of all, the casting would few and far between. I've heard the Learning Channel should have me on as the virgin bachelor.
Q Do any of your former pals in the NFL ever ask you to date their daughters or sisters?
A I can't say that they did. One of the best compliments I ever received was from my college football coach, Tom Brown [later elevated to AD at Gustavus Adolphus], who said I was one of two people he ever allowed to date his daughter.
Q Are women respectful of your desire to have thoroughly chaste dates?
A It's not like I'm not a sexual human being. I'm not sitting 4 feet away from a person. Every girlfriend I've had wasn't a virgin. Some handled it well, some pushed the envelope as far as they could. That's been a point of contention, especially in my most recent relationship [that lasted] about a year.
Q What does your dad think of your plans to remain a virgin until marriage?
A My parents were hippies. My brother lost his virginity at a younger age. I think if you asked my mom or my dad they would be, We don't know necessarily why he has decided on it, and he's strong in his faith and wants to give it to one person. We don't have a ton of conversations about the fact that I'm waiting. I remember when my stepmom found out when the "Bachelor" came out she was like, What? Really?
Q What qualities have you not found in women as you seek a wife?
A They have to have strong morals and strong ethics and faith; a warm heart and close to their family. Someone who pushes me to improve just by being around them. And I hope that I do the same for them. Either a former athlete or someone who understands athletics because that's such a big part of my life. I've dated some fantastic women. I've let a few gems go. Certainly I have the faith to know they weren't the ones for me and I'm OK with that.
Q They have to go to church every Sunday?
A Absolutely not. Faith we can cultivate together.
Q Prediction on the Vikings record at the end of this season?
A 5 and 11.
Q Why are some Penn State fans having such difficulty coming to terms with Joe Paterno not being a great man when those little boys needed him to be one, all the while protecting and excusing Jerry Sandusky?
A Under Joe Paterno they were the model program in the United States. It's one of the biggest scandals in the history of the NCAA. From what I do know Joe Paterno was looking out to save his program and that's absolutely sad and despicable.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9.