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Jags trio going to Japan


Paul Spicer is going to Japan next week. He might want to pack a peanut butter sandwich.

Spicer, Ernest Wilford and Jaguars strength and conditioning coach Mark Asanovich will be featured at a training seminar in Tokyo. It's the fifth trip for Asanovich, who is the tour guide for the Jacksonville contingent.

"It's an exchange of information. They want to know how we train our athletes. The NFL is real big over there," Asanovich said.

Yeah, it'll be a learning experience for Spicer and Wilford, too, especially at dinner time.

"The first time I went over there I lost eight pounds because they wanted to show us their culture and I was eating eyeballs and fish. I choked down a lot of pounds. The next year they said do you like pork? I said yes, but it was the way they served it. First they served us the tongue, then they served us the snout. If Paul doesn't like something, he's going to tell them 'I don't like that,'" Asanovich joked.

Spicer is excited about the trip and welcoming another taste of cultural diversity. This will be Spicer's second trip to Japan for the strength and conditioning seminar.

"I went last year. I loved it. It was a great experience, that's why I'm going back, to see a whole different culture," the Jaguars defensive end said.

Wilford will be making his first trip. When Asanovich invited Wilford to make the trip, Wilford hesitated at first, then said, "Yeah, how much do I owe you?" That's when Asanovich informed the second-year wide receiver that he would be paid for his effort.

The event is organized by renowned Japanese trainer Tatsuya Okawa, who works with Japanese Olympians. Asanovich, Spicer and Wilford will appear at a seminar that'll be attended by coaches, trainers and students. The Jaguars trio will also speak at selected universities.

Why did Asanovich select Spicer and Wilford as the two Jaguars player reps? "They're guys who exemplify what we're looking for in the weight room; guys who train with a lot of intensity and show up on Sunday as well," Asanovich.

Wilford actually received the invitation by default. Chris Naeole couldn't make it. But there's nothing wrong with number three, is there? Not when the trip is for free and you get paid, too.

Bon appetit.

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