Where are they now? Alex Linnenkohl
The former Beaver football center, who is looking to sign an Arena League contract, created a websi
Published: Monday, November 14, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 21:07
It's 4:30 p.m. in Corvallis and you are hungry.
As any penny-pinching college student would do, you try to find the biggest bang for your buck. You try to find the best two-for-one special, happy hour, dollar menu combo out there.
If you happened to be friends with former Oregon State center Alex Linnenkohl when he went here, you would to know call him up and he would recall from memory every deal and happy hour in town.
"People knew me when I was here, as knowing where the best deal was," Linnenkohl said.
Linnenkohl has teamed up with three other Oregon State students to turn his love for finding a killer deal into a website called grubthirty.com. The website allows users to look down a list of Corvallis restaurants, and see what restaurants are open and what specials they are having. Linnenkohl compared it to looking at a TV Guide for restaurants with food and drink specials signified by different color codes.
Although right now it only serves the Corvallis area, Linnenkohl sees it expanding to college towns around the nation. It's a perfect fit, Grubthirty and college towns. All college students like to eat and drink, and all college students know the importance of stretching their dollar.
"The philosophy lies in, why pay full price full price for a cheeseburger when you can get it for half price? What's the reason for that?" Linnenkohl asked, espousing his philosophy. "A lot of people pay full price for cheeseburgers, but not this guy."
Linnenkohl has been a thrifty individual since the days of garage sale shopping while driving home from church with his mom as a youngster. Sadly, she passed away from breast cancer when Linnenkohl was only eight years old, but her memory lives on in the form of his frugality.
"A lot of that thrift is in my blood, from my mom," Linnenkohl said. "In my veins is that ability to see a deal and capitalize."
Linnenkohl decided to start Grubthirty to keep busy while he was waiting for the NFL lockout to end. He, along with his three associates, continues to hone it, and it gives Linnenkohl something to do while he's waiting to see where his football career goes.
Linnenkohl looks to get back on the playing field soon, as he expects to sign with an arena football team sometime in the next two weeks. Because players can easily opt out of the contract if signed by an NFL team, the Arena Football League serves as a kind of farm system for the NFL. Players, like Linnenkohl, can play Arena to stay in football shape and show NFL teams that they haven't just been sitting dormant.
Another former Beaver with a similar story to Linnenkohl, Kyle DeVan, cut his teeth in the Arena League before winning a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts.
"(Kyle DeVan) being virtually the same height and weight as me, I‘ve always looked up to him, and his story is something I can grasp onto to know that a little bit of patience, a little bit of elbow grease and hard work can get you through," Linnenkohl said.
Linnenkohl was close to making the practice squad of the Bears this preseason. His first test in training camp was a head-to-head position battle with another undersized center, J.C. Brigone from Nebraska.
"Me and him went there with the idea that one of us would remain and one of us would go," Linnenkohl said.
Brigone was cut after the third preseason game and it was clear that Linnenkohl was among a handful of undrafted free agent offensive linemen with a legitimate shot at making the team.
Two out of the eight practice squad spots are reserved for offensive linemen. A veteran player locked up one of the two spots and Linnenkohl was among five undrafted free agents competing for the final spot.
After playing three quarters at the center position in the fourth and final preseason game, it became apparent that the Bears were going to sign either Linnenkohl or Ricky Henry from Nebraska.