- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Each week during the season, we'll chat with a different Detroit Lions player or coach for a look at their lives on and off the field in a feature called "Ten(ish) Questions With..."
Darius Slay has had a season somewhat typical of a rookie. Some high points. Some lows. Even being pulled from the starting lineup.
But throughout most of it, he’s always had a enthusiasm about him. Always, for the most part, seemed happy. That’s just the way he is.
The former Mississippi State cornerback discusses his smiling, his son, and paintballing in this week’s Ten(ish) questions with...
What’s your favorite football memory?
Darius Slay: Shoot, me scoring against Georgia. That’s where I’m from and for me to do that in my home state, I had a ball.
What’s your favorite thing to do away from football?
DS: Be with my son and play the game, that’s it.
Come on, you’ve got to do more than that.
DS: I don’t really do nothing like that. I’ve got a child so I just be chilling with my son.
But your son isn’t up here.
DS: Oh, up here? Man, if I ain’t trying to keep my body up, get massages and stuff like that, but in-season that’s what I’m doing. Offseason, I’m just going to be down south.
So what’s your favorite thing to do with your son?
DS: We play the game or if we’re back at home, we bike ride a lot. We do a lot of bike-riding. He’s got his little four-wheeler thing so we be riding little four-wheelers, having fun.
So you’re both on four-wheelers?
DS: Nah, he got a little electric one. I’ll be riding my bike, he’ll be riding his little electric four-wheeler, that’s it. Just around the community, just riding.
You always been a bike rider?
DS: I’m just trying to spend a little time with my son, that’s it. Spend a little time, get him out of the house.
What’s the weirdest thing about you?
DS: I don’t really know. I don’t really know that. I don’t think I’m weird, that’s why. I don’t know. Somebody else might think of something.
Any quirks? Superstition?
DS: I’m always smiling, no matter what, that’s it. Anything else, no. I don’t think I’m weird. Unless I’m just smiling a lot.
Why do you smile so much?
DS: I try to keep a smile on my face. If I don’t have a smile on my face, there’s a lot going on. So I be trying to avoid all of that. There’s a lot of stress.
What does it take to get a smile off your face?
DS: It gotta take a lot. I don’t know. Something gotta be serious, like mom, at home something, something gotta go wrong, that’s it. Ain’t nothing with football or nothing around something like that will make me not have a smile on my face because I’m blessed. So I just have a great opportunity.
When you look back in college, what did you do for fun?
DS: Shoot, went out a lot of times, stayed out on weekends, chilled with teammates and loved paintballing.
DS: We all of us as a team at Mississippi State, we went paintballing a lot.
You good? Or you get shot all the time?
DS: I was pretty decent. I didn’t want to get shot so I was pretty fast, get away.
You wear camo, the whole deal?
DS: Oh yeah, I’d be real "armyed" out. Boots and everything. Everything. Hat and everything. You ain’t hitting me. You hit me, you got to be good.
How many times you get hit?
DS: I got hit three times. I got one little one right here, though. Got hit right on the side (lifts up shirt to show a small black bruise, still there). Still got a bruise. Got caught on the side. That was the hardest one I had. One time I got shot in my hand but that’s it.
One time I got shot through the mask.
DS: Oh, that’s nasty. I bet that was nasty. And that it hurt.
Yeah, I was 13.
DS: Ooh, that had to hurt. Had to hurt.
How did you start doing that, just Mississippi State?
DS: I did it one time with my mentor in high school, you know, he has a group. As a senior he put us on paintballing for the first time my senior year. Then we all just took it at college, like let’s all go paintballing and it was like, ‘Heck yeah.’
You start it?
DS: Nah, I ain’t start it. As a team they were like, ‘Y’all want to go do something?’ It was like ‘What?’ Let’s go paintballing. One of the guys on the team, he had a paintball thing in his hometown so we went there with him.