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Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Elbert Mack

None of Bucs cornerback Elbert Mack’s tattoos can be seen because he promised his mother he wouldn’t get any on his face.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

None of Bucs cornerback Elbert Mack’s tattoos can be seen because he promised his mother he wouldn’t get any on his face.

You have tattoos all over your body. I assume you have the most tattoos on the team, right?

Oh, yeah. Hands down.

Even though you have so many, it seems like most are actually pretty creative. Do you put a lot of thought into them?

I do. I put a bunch of thought into them. You have to when you're talking about something that's going to be on your body for the rest of your life. Most of them have some kind of meaning. Usually, it's something that I always want to remember. Some of them are just random; maybe something I'm really interested in.

What's the most meaningful one you have?

The most meaningful ones are the names of my mom and my grandma. Those are two people who mean so much to me. I would always want to remember them.

So what part of you is not tattooed?

My face. That's it. I promised my mom that I wouldn't put anything on my face. And, I'd say, maybe my thighs. That's it, though. Pretty much everything else is tatted.

I think we all agree you're not the biggest guy in the world. How often do people doubt you when they hear you play football?

We were just talking about this the other day. I think the worst thing is when someone asks you if you play football, you say yes, and then they say, "No, you don't." I hate that! Why did you ask me if you weren't going to believe me? But being small, a lot of people don't believe me. They see us on TV every week, and they think, "Wow! Those guys are enormous!" They think everybody's big. They even think that the guys that play my position (cornerback) are the size of safeties or linebackers. In actuality, TV gives you, what, I think 10 pounds and 2 inches?

Give me an example of what happens out in public sometimes.

I was at Lee Roy Selmon's (restaurant) eating once, and a couple people recognized me. I could see them talking across the way. Then one of them came over and asked (who I was). They said, "Really? You were so small, I wasn't sure." To me, it's funny. I kind of like it. I don't stick out. And they always ask me this: "You must be fast." Well, you have to have something when you're this small. I'm definitely not strong.

Now my weekly questions. What's playing the most on your iPod right now?

I just bought this (rapper) Wale album a couple days ago. It's real smooth. It's not all that rah-rah hip-hop. It's one of those albums you can play all the way through. And he has a message. He's a poet.

What website do you visit the most?

Around here, we stay on WorldStarHipHop.com and Mediatakeout.com. The videos on World Star Hip Hop are funny, and on Media Takeout (a celebrity gossip site), it's 50-50 lies and truth.

Lastly, which reality show do you watch the most?

I haven't been watching much TV lately, but I've watched a lot of Bad Girls Club and Khloe and Lamar. That Khloe and Lamar show is entertaining, man.

Would you participate in a reality show?

Yeah, I would. I've always wanted to go on The Real World. I'm serious. I really want to do that one day.

I'm wondering: Who were your sports heroes as a kid?

I didn't have certain heroes, but I was always a sports fanatic. I loved all sports. I'm a big basketball fan. I was a basketball player before I played football. Kobe (Bryant) is my favorite player. I always liked (former 49ers safety) Merton Hanks. He was a guy I always watched. And, of course, Barry Sanders. He went to my high school (in Wichita, Kan.).

That's a big trailblazer in front of you to have Barry Sanders come from your high school, right?

Yeah, he was small in stature but explosive. I feel like I'm small in stature but fast. It's kind of the same thing. I'm just glad that I can say I went to the same school. He's a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest running backs to play the game.

So I have to ask: Did your school win a state title with Barry Sanders?

No. It's a funny story, actually. He wasn't even a starter. But then someone got hurt. They put Barry out there, and he took off. And it's funny: It's kind of what happened to me in junior college. I was just a role player. Then one of our corners went down, and I haven't looked back since.

.Biography

Elbert Mack

Position: CornerbackAge: 25

Hometown: Wichita, Kan.Height/weight: 5-10, 175

College: Troy; led Division I-A in interceptions with eight as a senior in 2007; had 84 tackles, 22 passes defensed and 10 interceptions in two seasons after transferring from Butler County (Kan.) Community College.

Pro: Undrafted, signed with the Bucs in 2008; as a backup, has three interceptions and 58 tackles over three-plus seasons; considered a key special teams performer.

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Elbert Mack 11/04/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 5, 2011 7:03pm]

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