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July 1, 2011

Photo: Sportske Novosti

David Diehl visits Poljud


New York Giants offensive tackle, David Diehl, stepped foot on Croatian soil for the first time today. David is trying to retrace his roots as his maternal grandfather, Ante Bekavac, is from Lovreć, while his grandmother is from Krk.


“It is a great honor to come here. This is my first time in Croatia, searching for my roots. I was in Lovreč, here I am in Split, now I go around to meet my motherland. It was an incredible experience for me, I see where I came from, where my roots are from. I am delighted and proud that I came to Croatia.”

~David Diehl for Sportske Novosti

Diehl was born and raised in Chicago and played American football at Illinois university. David will never forget his Croatian times in Chicago: “When I was a child we often went to Croatian immigrant clubs. I will never forget the breakfasts. I loved the palačinke.” Growing up watching Toni Kukoč and Dražen Petrović in the NBA, David played basketball years before he ever picked up a football. “Toni Kukoč played a huge part in my life growing up, just like Dražen Petrović. I played basketball, but then I realized that I have a bigger talent for American football.”



Photo: Sportske Novosti

David Diehl shows his guns at Poljud

The 30 year old Super Bowl champion had time to make an appearance at Poljud to visit Hajduk Split:


“Hajduk is a great club, I know everything about them. When a club is celebrating their hundredth birthday, it’s something really great. I regret that I won’t be able to attend the match with Barcelona, ​​but I have to get back to the states.”


Hajduk chaiman, Hrvoje Maleš, gifted David an XXXL #66 Diehl Hajduk 100th Anniversary jersey.


Denis Svirčić
Posted By: Denis Svirčić 45 comments

  1. Denis Svirčić says:

    Happy Canada day to all my Canadian people out there. Had some great times in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec.

  2. JerseyCro says:

    he was at the Cro Picnic in NJ a few weeks ago, nice enough to take pictures with I'd say almost 100 people

  3. Franjo Tudjman says:

    Being a huge fan of his following the Giants, it does not surprise me that he has a good taste in which Croatian team he roots for :)


    Darn, and I was going to go to the picnic. I would have loved to have been there.


    Thanks for posting info and photo on the website. He's a must-interview when he comes back….with the lockout, he will have plenty of time to sit down with you ;)

  4. Franjo Tudjman says:

    PS- Does anyone know how to order the new Hajduk jersey on a "reputable" online site? I think had the older one's for a brief time a few years ago.

    I know they're not selling like hotcakes like Manchester United jersey's, but seems to be hard to get if you live abroad.

  5. Denis Svirčić says:


    Yes, hopefully we can line him up for an interview now that the NFL and NBA are on strike. The Giants do make their way west this season, with a stop in Arizona and San Francisco. A possible CSR trip in the future.

  6. nepoznat says:

    Jersey Croatians… what is the website with the date & timing of the picnic? I haven't gone in years but I can never find out when it is happening and I always miss it! I live like 5 miles from there so I really have no excuses not to go

    @Denis maybe you could sub out the interview to one of us Jersey Croats

  7. nepoznat says:

    oh and for what it's worth David Diehl and I used to get our hair cut from the same guy for years

  8. ziva istina says:

    good to see a guy with croatian roots is wiling to see learn and understand where he comes from. Wish some first-generation hrvati were like that….

    It's always enjoyable listening to them on the coast trying to order a drink……."ja moze jedan piva, please."

  9. Denis Svirčić says:


    We will get this guy in front of a camera next year as long as there is a NFL next season. We might have to bring in the lefty from jeyze.

    @Ziva Istina,

    I agree. Also, I dont think an NFL player ever sported the Hajduk shirt.

  10. JP says:

    Nice article boys, well done.

    Too bad he plays for the Giants, but he's been a very solid performer for a long time for them. Being a Cowboys fan I know this first hand.

    We should start a club/hub of sorts for all the current and former Croats in the NFL!

  11. Franjo Tudjman says:


    Thanks for the links, but do you know of one where I can get the "new" one for the 2011/2012 season?


    About 10 years ago, the NY Croatian Church stopped sending letters in the mail, so now it's seems that most of the promotions are done at church and on their radio programs. Their second (and last picnic of the year) is next month…usually it's the last or second to last Sunday of August.


    Parents are not teaching the language to kids as they did in the past….it's a shame. Then again, who am I to judge since my Croatian is not perfect :)

    PS- Just read that Halihodzic has signed on to coach Algeria.

    PPS- Bogdan Bojanovich was in New Jersey a few days ago and appeared with the other two players the NJ Nets selected in the draft in a photo ceremony. Photo appeared in the NY Post, with him holding jersey #7 with his name on it. He and GM Billy King admitted that the best-case-scenario is that he plays in a year. Nice to see that he genuinely seems interested in the challenge of playing in the NBA. Since the Nets have no one outside of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez (Kris Humphries is a free agent), it would have been ideal for him to come now where he would actually get some big time minutes.

  12. nepoznat says:

    thanks Franjo, please post on here when we know the final date… I figured it got lost in the mail after we moved to CT and I moved out of my parents house 10 years ago but we're all back in NJ now and I am literally in the next town so I would love to take my son

  13. Ante Kvartuč says:

    Lakic scores 2 and Mandzukic adds 1 for Wolfsburg in a 5-1 friendly win over Hamburg on sunday.

  14. BlackZodiac says:

    @ Ante Kvartuc

    "Lakic scores 2 and Mandzukic adds 1 for Wolfsburg"

    Was about to say that earlier on, I'm quite impressed.

    Didn't catch the game, was Petric on the pitch?

  15. Wallace says:

    David Diehl has a German father and Croatian mother; is a second generation 1/2 Croat (not sure what generation on his father's side) and probably does not even speak Croatian. In my book of course he's croatian because a nation is people/blood, not a piece of paper; besides, both his parents are aryan. However, were not some of you commentators (recently under another article) saying that a person with similar credentials as I outlined in the above sentence are not really croatian or that they are "half-ass" croatians? Have YOU changed your tune now because a famous football player has embraced his croatian roots? But the rest of us plebians who have 100% croatian blood but weren't born on that specific georgraphical territory called Croatia are less croatian than some black guy like Samir who carries a piece of paper stating he's Croatian?

    Remember Ziva when you said "as long as they speak the languange" etc, etc.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Enough of this American sport sranje! Where are the articles on Hajduk's mass overhaul? Atleast Fisto has his priorities sorted. Inoha almost signed, vukusic to Lyon for 6 mil (could finance the simunic move. If Saric and vukovic had signed for Dinamo there would be an article immediately (and all us hajduk fans would be having a field day because they signed 2 gypsies, haha)… but that's not the point.

    -Dinko dog

  17. Wallace says:

    David Diehl played something like his first 7 seasons without missing ONE game and think not even ONE practice, and has only missed I think two games his entire career. He's also played every position on the offensive line except for center. The first time I remember him playing left tackle (his current position) was as an emergency replacement there (I believe from right guard) in a must win game last game of the regular season to make the playoffs and save the coaches job against the Redskins: Tiki Barber ran for 200+ yards and the Giants won – and much of that running was off the left wing – where Diehl was bulldozing Redskings defenders.

  18. ziva istina says:

    @Wallace……..Diehl is a American-Croat. I don't think he is running around saying he is croatian, which was the main point of my argument. I applaud him for looking into his roots and making an attempt to know his background, which is more than many first generation hrvati can say.

  19. ziva istina says:

    BTW……none of this Hajduk news is impressive at all. I'll wait to judge the product on the field. Losing Vukusic will not be a loss. My guy/source/contact at hajduk (same guy who was very firm when he told me that Rukavina was the biggest waste and would amount to nothing in Europe) thinks Vukusic won't amount to anything either. We'll see….

    Hajduk is still trying to bring in Simunic and also trying to bring back Pletikosa.

    the league starts in a few weeks, but let me be the first to congratulate dinamo and their fans on winning the 2011-2012 league title.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ziva, Diehl's father is of German descent and his mother of Croatian descent; so you can't just call him "american-croat". And it's not like he doesn't acknowledge his German side (i.e. his biological father), afterall – Diehl is a German name. One thing he is 100% for sure, and that's indo-european/aryan.

  21. Denis Svirčić says:

    Happy 4th of July to all you Yankees(including David Diehl) out there.

    6 million euros for Vukusic would be amazing for Hajduk. Sell, sell, sell, while the stock is high.


    great comment on Diehl, I didnt know about this.

    @Dinko Dog,

    Where are you writing us from? Its summertime here in the northern hemisphere. Us lazy dalmatinci dont have time for "Duje Cop to Split" "Japanac signs for Hajduk" articles :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    @Ziva… wow your source predicted that Rukavina would flop in Europe? If only I had the same sort of contacts! Did this source also say that Balaban would flop? If so, you're on to a winner! Anyone who has a clue would know that, so I wouldn't be doing backflips over this wonderful source. If you read my post correctly, you should have come to the conclusion that the sale of vukusic was mentioned purely due to the possibility of the funds bring used to finance a move for Joe Simunic… which would be "news". Whether this would "impress" you or not is irrelevant because the last time I checked, this website was called


    Writing from Australia

    -Dinko Dog

  23. ziva istina says:

    no need to "hate" brother…..

    Easy to come on here after the fact and claim you said the same about Rukavina. When everyone was optimistic and singing his praises a few years, I was not. That is all I am saying.

    And as for the "news" about Simunic. I posted that info in May before anyone was reporting about the Simunic-Haujduk connection.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Not hating, just thought it was a bit arrogant to say none of the hajduk news "impresses" you, which I thought implied it didn't warrant reporting… you must be a Dinamo fan? :)

    Settle down mate, you are acting like you broke an exclusive about Simo? Maybe it was to the people on this blog, but its a big world out there!… with all due respect


  25. Anonymous says:

    DD, ziva istina is cynical about everything and he doesn't put up anything constructive-especially about tactics or formations, then when he thinks he's right he comes and gloats to everyone here saying "I told you so". A typical old has-been legend in his own little mind.

  26. ziva istina says:

    I see we have some envy…..

    not true at all to your comments….get some of the credible people on here and they can confirm what has not or what has been submitted/written by me. No use of talking about tactics every single day when we have people posting that players like Delac should get a chance at GK for the national team, then you know why I won't debate them on the merits of playing a 4-2-3-1.

    Actually, to the Anonymous poster a few spots above….I am huge Hajduk fan, but their last 10 years have been a disaster in how that club is run. So, nothing they do will convince me it is the right move until I see results on the field. Even this rumored interest for Vukusic is absurd. What normal team offers a 70-30 split on a transfer fee. That's just routine business for hajduk and they way they allow agents and former player to influence how the club is run.

  27. Ante B says:

    Ziva Istina a Dinamo fan? Well, even I just spit my coffee on the computer screen. Thanks, guys. You always continue to keep me entertained.

    Ziva, be honest. When you read that you might be a Dinamo fan, what was your initial reaction? My money is on head shake followed by chuckle.

  28. ziva istina says:

    @Ante……I had a nice smirk.

    The dude is probably a typical homer who cant stand or understand criticism (or in their words "negative comments").

    If someone can show me something in the last 10 years that hajduk has done well on the field, then they can claim I am a "negativac". Simply qualifying for the group stages of the Europa League is not success in my book. Although, with what they have done in the last decade, I guuess it should be considered a success.

  29. Denis Svirčić says:

    @Dinko Dog,

    you're alright in my book. I was being sarcastic in my last comment about Duje Cop and the Japanac. Vukusic to Lyon is a story, hopefully this gets done as that offer is insane. Yes, Hajduk had a massive overhaul, but so did Dinamo. I really like the pick up of Ivan Krstanović.

    Stick with us here at CSR. I like what you bring to the table. Also, if you ever feel like writing us an opinionated piece or a story, shoot me an email: Like I mentioned hundreds of times before, this site is open to everyone.

    @Ziva istina,

    I see how you would think that group stage in europa league is not success. However, for a team like Hajduk this is huge. Don't tell me that you were not running around the house when Vukusic scored that game winner over Anderlecht. sure there are major problems at Hajduk. Like you said, Hajduk "allows agents and former players to influence how the club is run. But you cant say group stage was not successful for Hajduk.

  30. ziva istina says:

    True, it was a success. I was happy as anyone when Vukusic hit that game winner, but was entry into the Europa League a fluke or something to build on. With the way the club has been run the last 10-15 years, I say it was a fluke.

    More focus is being put on the friendly with Barca then on the season, which starts before the Barca game.

  31. Denis Svirčić says:

    @Ziva Istina,

    I agree with you that it was a fluke. If those Romanian teams were not in a shithole, Hajduk wouldnt have even advanced to group stage.

    Barca is a once in a lifetime event for Hajduk and their fans. In a time of struggle, people look for short term happiness. Barca is short term happiness.

    Do you think Hajduk will break even? ticket sales vs. Barca fee?

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