magazine cover jonasI played American football in Europe for a while before I came to the United States on a permanent basis. I first came to the Unite States in 1997 for a football game in New Orleans. It was actually a pregame for the Superbowl: a European all-star team against a Mexican all-star team. It was February in New Orleans, which is much different than February in Sweden. It was just oppressively humid out. When I had finally decided to come to the United States for football, I had already known the coach at University of Wisconsin Platteville and that was the easiest option for me.

UW-Platteville Football Team Photo

UW-Platteville Football Team Photo

My mom was really worried about me coming over here. She believed that I would meet someone here and never return back home. It was really hard for me to leave my family and friends behind in Sweden, but I didn’t really have any intentions of staying here long-term. In fact, I didn’t really have any long-term plans at all. I pretty much just came over here to see how it all went. I was lucky like that.

I ended up coming over here with one of my good friends. We were actually roommates in Sweden for a couple years before and we ended up being roommates in Platteville as well. He only stayed here for a year, though, before he went back to Sweden. We came over in August and my god, it was so unbearably humid out. I mean Wisconsin in the summer is just awful and I was nowhere near used to that at all. We have like 20-30% humidity in Sweden and we stepped off the plane here and were just immediately drenched in sweat.

 

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