You've had an interesting week with your baby boy, Christian, being born Tuesday. Do you remember the moment you first held him?
Man, I don't even know because it was such a long process. We got (to the hospital) early Monday, and he didn't actually come until Tuesday afternoon. I was exhausted because I had been up so long helping my wife go through the labor. When I finally saw him, it was like my emotions were trying to catch up to my body. My brain was like, "Okay, be happy, be happy, be happy. Okay, I'm happy!"
She was in labor for, what, 28 hours?
Yes. At first, we were both just sort of looking at the clock like, "When is this going to happen?" Later, there's all this stuff going on that you don't even think about the time. The doctors and nurses kept checking her progress and you're so focused on getting to that goal that you don't even look at the clock. All I know is I could see underneath the door that it was nighttime, and next thing I knew it was daytime again (on Tuesday). I didn't even think about time.
More power to her, man.
Tell me about it. And she went through it natural. A lot of women will say they have to get the epidural, but she just dealt with it. I don't know the pain because I've never experienced it, but it's like anything else. I know enough about it to know I never want to go through it. It's like, I don't know what it's like to get shot, but I know I don't want to. So, I never, ever want to go through labor.
Were you hoping for a boy?
I was. But my biggest goal is to just be a good father. I'm not trying to knock my dad or anyone in my family, but in my genealogy, you just don't see a lot of strong men. I've been a product of a dad who suffered with alcohol and just wasn't there and wasn't supportive. Even today, it plays a huge role in my life and affects how I make decisions and how I act. So, my focus is that I don't want that to happen to someone else. It's not a matter of me saying I don't want to be like my dad. I just want to be a good dad regardless of whether mine was or wasn't. And it will be good to pass on those attributes to another male so he can do the same thing.
Do you feel fortunate to be playing in your hometown around family and friends?
I just think it was the favor of God. With the way my career has gone (he has been cut several times), it's good to have support. So, I think maybe He saw that. It's good to have my mom close to me, my wife's mom, too. All these people are at an arm's distance away.
So, Chamberlain High is where it all began. What do you remember most?
I remember playing Hillsborough. It was big because we hadn't beaten them in about eight seasons. And then we beat them in my senior year in four overtimes. It's probably known as the best high school game in Chamberlain history. I'd say in Tampa history. That game decided the district. Chamberlain is where my foundation was.
And you met your wife there, right?
I did. She was in my second-period Spanish class in 10th grade. I remember she was dating a senior and they broke up. So, we were in class talking to each other in Spanish, learning how to give compliments. She gave me one first, and then I responded back, and that was the beginning. After that, things got real comfortable.
I ask this question every week: What do you play most on your iPod?
I don't have one.
Well, that's a first.
I think the iPod is a great invention. I guess I just don't listen to music much. I'm one of those people who gets the instruction manual for something and throw it to the side and start messing around with stuff.
The other weekly question is what Web site do you visit most?
Honestly, I probably go to Biblegateway.com. It's just got a lot of different translations, and it helps me in my Bible study time. It also helps me if I'm preparing a sermon or something.
Sermon? Are you ordained to preach?
Yes, basically. I've accepted my call into the ministry. I gave my first sermon back in May. I was nervous, too. I don't work as a pastor, but I do things to get out there and do some speaking. Actually, me and (safety) Will Allen are doing a Bible study at USF with the football players. It's not something that's real publicized. Just about an hour and 20 minutes every Thursday. We've finally got it off the ground, and it's just going great.
Wide receiver Brian Clark says he'd rather get hit by the league's biggest defender than go through 28 hours of labor, as his wife did last week. And for this Tampa native, his biggest football memories in this town weren't made while wearing red and pewter.