The strangest thing about following Antwaan Randle El this week has been how frankly normal his life is. Even knowing that Randle El is a devout man of faith – thus eliminating the possibility of some sort of over-the-top, 1990’s Dallas Cowboys-style day off or anything like that – and even in the era after The Osbournes and The Two Coreys and all the other celebs-are-just-like-us reality shows, I somehow expected El’s offday to be drastically different from anything I might come up with.
Here is his description of his day off, unedited and uninterrupted:
Yesterday I woke up, I did some work in the yard, and then I drove my son to school. Came back and had to take my youngest girl to the doctor. She had to get three shots, but she was great — only cried for thirty seconds, then she was good. Got her home, got her some lunch.
At about 2:00, I had a meeting about my commercial properties and stuff. My three year old wouldn’t take her nap, so I took her to the meeting with me. Then I came back, did some MORE work in the yard, and by that time, it was time to settle down. My wife was just getting back from class and she had a friend in town, so they had to go out. So me and the kids, we went out, rolled to Circuit City, stuff like that. I came home, put them in the bed, and it was time for me to go to bed.
That was my day. That was Tuesday.
I suppose this is different from what I might have come up with, but mainly because I don’t have commercial properties and I’ve never really had a yard. But those are not the things I expected to be the primary differences between my day off and a professional football player’s.
But if there’s been a revelation for me after these days of talking to Randle El, it’s how much the same everything is at every level: he puts in a full day’s work; he takes care of his kids; and, like so many people, he’s laying the groundwork for a career after he finishes his current job. It’s just that some of those things – the work and the future career – are in a slightly more specialized field than what most of us do.
For example, when he watches Monday Night Football, he can legitimately claim that it’s work-related. His first thought about the Eagles/Giants tilt? “No defense. That ball was being thrown up top all day long. That happens every time those guys play, seems like.” When he sees DeSean Jackson perform an idiotically premature touchdown celebration – “a boneheaded play,” he calls it – it’s not just something to roll his eyes at; it’s both a cautionary tale and a reminder of things he’s seen before, when people in Pittsburgh film sessions were still talking about Plaxico Burress’s similar rookie blunder two years later.
Those are details, though. On some level, he’s just another guy staying awake to catch the Monday Night Game after a hard day at work.
More of Randle El’s week, including your questions for him, later today.