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Luchey's Hobby Has Him Caught In A Unique Web


Just as it takes a special person to throw his body into opponents on a regular basis, it also takes a unique individual to own spiders as big as his hands. When you find somebody who does both of those things, then you're talking about a truly unique individual.

If you don't think this person exists then you haven't met Nick Luchey.

Luchey, who is listed at 6-2, and 273 pounds, has never been afraid to battle players bigger than him on the gridiron and he's made a living doing just that for six years in the NFL. A bruising and powerful fullback, Luchey loves making crushing blocks, but you might be surprised at what else he confesses to love.

While many kids collect items like baseball cards or coins when they are growing up, Luchey wasn't quite as interested in those things. Instead, he took enjoyment in catching spiders and centipedes and recently said that it's been a hobby for him for eight years.

Luchey now owns 12 tarantulas, including one that measures nearly 11 inches when it is completely stretched out. His collection also includes three centipedes. All of this adds up to one unique hobby and, although Luchey admits many people think it's strange, he loves it.

"A lot of people think I'm weird because of that, but it's a hobby," Luchey explains. "It's an unconventional and different hobby, but hey, there's a lot of people that want to do different things but they're scared. I wasn't scared.

"Everybody thinks it's wacky and everything, especially girls. My youngest sister, she is the only one who won't see them because she is very scared of them. But my nephews are always saying, 'Uncle Nick, go show me your spiders, centipedes and lizards.' They love that so I enjoy showing them off."

Luchey often raises the little creatures from birth, which happens to be one of his favorite aspects of the hobby.

"I've raised ninety percent of them since they were babies and now they are the size of my hand," Luchey said. "It's pretty cool, I feel like a dad almost. It gives you a fatherly feeling once you see your children kind of grow up when you raise them. They're doing very well."

They may not pose a threat to Luchey, but others often want to know whether his spiders or centipedes are dangerous. Luchey insists there is nothing to worry about.

"The tarantulas aren't dangerous," Luchey said. "All spiders have venom, but I don't have any poisonous spiders or anything. If they bite you it's like a bee sting. It will hurt, because they do have teeth, but it's nothing that will make you sick."

Luchey did acknowledge that the giant centipedes will bite and "can't be handled."

Opponents know that, like his centipedes, Luchey is also very hard to handle due to his versatility.

He played multiple positions including tight end and H-back during his four years with the Cincinnati Bengals, and his versatility at the fullback position is something that few in the league possess.

"I think it separates me from other fullbacks in the league," Luchey said. "I think there are very few, not even a handful of guys in this league, that can do that. I think that is something God has blessed me with, the ability to play multiple positions."

According to Luchey, he's a part of a backfield filled with players that can do many things.

"I think we are definitely getting the reputation as one of the best running back groups in the league," Luchey explained. "We can all do so much and play multiple positions. We all can run and catch and block. So it's a lot of fun."

Luchey said it's also fun to block for Ahman Green, who has set several records in Green Bay. He knows his job is to open up the holes for the tailbacks, rather than be the guy to run through them. But Luchey wouldn't be opposed to scoring a touchdown or two himself.

"I am a team player so I like giving the crushing block to the other team," Luchey said. "Although I wouldn't mind getting a few of them myself, don't get me wrong," he added with a wide grin on his face. "But I definitely like making the big block."

So does Luchey ever ask the coaches to throw him a bone once in awhile and let him handle the ball?

"No, no, no, I don't ask," Luchey insists. "I just go out there and ask by the way I play, by the way I fight. I wouldn't want to do it if it wasn't going to help the team. I think the coaches feel the same way. We just haven't had the time to really put it into the game plan, but we are going to keep our eyes open, there's still time."

The one thing Luchey has had going for him this season is the fact that he's been relatively healthy until recently when he injured his shoulder during the Packers' game in Houston.

Last season he missed five games and played injured in many of the others. In addition to that, Luchey has had to battle with a very good fullback in William Henderson for playing time.

"This role basically came up last season," Luchey said. "Some people kind of forget, but I was a big part of the offense later in the year once I got healthy and that was the whole plan from the beginning. Now that I am healthy and ready to go, we are rolling on."

Although this rotation is sometimes frustrating for a talented player like Nick Luchey, it's certainly one of the most unique and successful setups in the NFL. That shouldn't come as a surprise, however. After all, Luchey and his pets set the standard for unique.

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