Detroit Lions: Question of the Week

QOTW: First football memory

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
Question of the Week is a weekly feature here where we take a cross-section of opinions from Detroit Lions players and coaches (and sometimes opponents) about a singular topic. Most of the time, they have nothing to do with football. Have a suggestion for a question? Email:

Previous Questions of the Week.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- We all remember the first time we did something we loved, whether it was playing a sport, reading a book or participating in a hobby.

For the Lions, the first football memory can be an important one. In some cases, it can teach a lesson. In others, it brings laughter of memories when everything about the game was innocent and new.

So the question for this week: What is your first football memory?

Wide receiver Jeremy Ross: "When I played for the San Francisco Seahawks, Pop Warner. Caught a touchdown. I think I ran probably a 12-yard hook route. Caught it with my body like boom, spun to my left. I got a real good memory. I was nine years old."

Wide receiver Kris Durham: "First one playing, when I was 7, there was an 8-,9- and 10-year-old league and my uncle was one of the coaches. He would let me come, it was almost like a redshirt year, he would let me come and practice with them. He would let me go out there and I would have to take my licks, my bumps and bruises and he’d get me out there. He got me out there and practiced with the whole team and got my own jersey. It was the Cowboys. Just the Cowboys. In Calhoun, Georgia."

Offensive guard Rodney Austin: "Just remember going to my big cousin’s football games when I was little and playing with all the other kids who were too small to be out there or too young to be out there and just begging my mom to put me on the team and just letting me go. The next year, I was out there. I was five or six years old in St. Louis. I was one of the bigger kids. I ended up starting to play before they really allowed starting to let kids play. I was so big that I was six and I was starting on the seven-eight year old team. It was pretty awesome."

Right tackle Corey Hilliard: "I’m from New Orleans, so it would have to be something with the Saints. Probably my dad just yelling at the TV. That might not be true. In ’92 the Saints actually went to the playoffs. They actually had a good year that year. I was seven or six. That’s probably the earliest memory I have of the Saints. I was big into kicking things, so I liked the punter, Tommy Barnhardt. Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson, those guys. Bobby Hebert, those guys, too."

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky: "Probably the first football memory that sticks in my head is my dad just teaching me the game. I originated in flag football and one of the first memories that sticks out, I was playing quarterback in flag football. I threw it and I think I was eight, someone smacked my arm and I remember tearing up and my dad kind of taking me behind a car and talking to me about it. Kind of verbalizing expressing toughness and how there was a big difference between being hurt and being injured. In that moment, changing my view on what it was to be tough and how it was to be tough for your teammates. Mainly just my dad teaching me."

Cornerback Rashean Mathis: "When I was younger and my grandmother wouldn’t let me play football because she said I was too small. That was the first thing I have. The other memory that sticks out the most, I was in the 10th grade and my brother was in the 12th grade and he was the star of the football team. He told me that I should quit because I wasn’t taking football seriously. That triggered something in me and I started taking football seriously after that."

Right guard Larry Warford: "I was playing flag football as a running back. I used to be a running back. Then I got meningitis and I couldn’t play anymore. Real talk. I got spinal meningitis and couldn’t play anymore. I was in second grade, I think. It was crazy."

Reporter: You know you can die from that, right?

Warford: "Yeah, I learned that in 2008. I didn’t know how serious it was until I was 16 or 17. I was talking to my uncle about it and he said, 'You know you can die from that, right?' I was like ‘What?’ "

Reporter: Did you do anything as a running back?

Warford: "I had a 70-yard touchdown run called back because I stiff-armed a little kid. I didn’t know you couldn’t do that. I straight bodied that kid. After that, I got meningitis. I only played like two games of the six-game season."

Offensive tackle Michael Williams: "My very first touchdown. I actually played running back and my mom missed the previous game so I came back and I knew she missed the game so I told her that I scored. I didn’t score, though. It was just a joke. So she comes to the next game and in my mind, I’m like, I have to score. So I scored. That was how it went. I was seven. The Pickens County Tornadoes."

Cornerback Cassius Vaughn: "My first year in little league in Memphis. I played for the North Memphis Chiefs. I was a D-end, six years old. D-end. I got a little faster, played a little quarterback. I just liked running the ball so I kind of migrated to the offensive side and it went from there. Full-tackle. Helmet, shoulder pads, all of that. We were out there tackling, man. Running real plays."
Question of the Week is a weekly feature here where we take a cross-section of opinions from Detroit Lions players and coaches (and sometimes opponents) about a singular topic. Most of the time, they have nothing to do with football. Have a suggestion for a question? Email

Last season's Questions of the Week.

This season: 10 years from now; Exciting offseason activities; Rookie nerves.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Days during training camp can be long and tough. Players are away from their families, their friends. The only people they sometimes see are their teammates, their coaches and the media.

In this vein, I ended up curious about one thing: Who, exactly, makes these players laugh the most?

When some asked whether I meant on the team, I just responded with 'in life, who is the person who makes you laugh the most' and they could answer however they wanted. Somewhat surprisingly, most stuck with people close to them. These are their answers:

Cornerback Rashean Mathis: "My son (Rashean Jr.). It’s just amazing. It’s a wonderful creation, to see his own personality. You have mothers and you have fathers with their personalities, but to see a little kid grow up and develop his own personality and learn something new each week, it’s amazing. Recently, what has he done. I’m trying to see. I’ve been in camp the last couple weeks.

"One thing, it makes me laugh and makes me proud. I video record him all the time. So I swing my golf club in the house all the time. He has a golf club and to see him ... I’ll get golf balls for him ... so to see him swing the golf club and he finishes, he makes sure he finishes on his toes like he really knows what he’s doing and he waits for me to look for approval. It’s funny. It’s awesome to see, but it’s funny at the same time. He’s 2."

Wide receiver Ryan Broyles: "My wife (Mary Beth). You just never know what you get out of her. We have a one-on-one conversation and she can be so funny, but she really thrives when she’s around other people. She really catches me off-guard with some of the things she says. She has no sensor at all."

Offensive lineman Travis Swanson: "That’s a tricky one. ... As far as people that just make me laugh, all the O-line guys that I’ve been around. All the guys here are hilarious. All my O-line buddies back in college were hysterical. There’s one guy back in college. His name is Austin Beck. He was kind of a guy that if you needed any laugh whatsoever, you could go to him. He wouldn’t even know that he would do it. He would just do something. He thought he was the best dancer in the world, but he was the worst dancer in the world. So any time, obviously there was music playing in the locker room and stuff, he would kind of get it in his head and it was entertaining to watch."

Tight end Eric Ebron: "Who makes me laugh? My nephew (Legend Jackson). He does crazy stuff. Just different, man. He reminds me of me, that’s what makes me laugh. He’s hyper. He’s crazy. He just five (on Monday)."

Defensive lineman Larry Webster: "The whole D-line makes me laugh. (In your life?) My family. My friends. We’re always joking around about something. It’s basically everybody. I’m always laughing."

Wide receiver Golden Tate: "Jeremy Ross makes me laugh. (In your life?) Anyone with a good personality. I’m pretty easy to make laugh. I like the witty comments that if you don’t get a certain reference, you won’t get the joke. Like an inside joke with movies and things like that."

Offensive lineman Alex Bullard: "There’s a lot of people that make me laugh, but the person that makes me laugh the most is my best friend (Justin Cash) back home. We’ve known each other for so long and we have our inside jokes. When you’ve been best friends with somebody, you have non-verbal communication that’s funny. We laugh at the same things."

Cornerback Cassius Vaughn: "My wife (Monica). She’s just silly, man. I’ve been with her for so long. ... She’s like my best friend, my everything. She funny. She knows how to make me laugh and keep my mind right. (What does she do?) Anything. You have a bond with somebody for so long, all the mushy stuff go out the door and it’s just we have a good time together and we love that. That’s just how my house is. We have a good time, secure, have a good time making each other laugh and enjoy each other."
Question of the Week is a weekly feature here where we take a cross-section of opinions from Detroit Lions players and coaches (and sometimes opponents) about a singular topic. Most of the time, they have nothing to do with football. Have a suggestion for a question? Email

Previous Questions of the Week. This week: Rookie nerves.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Detroit Lions players, when they could, tried to get away this offseason. They tried to escape their own workaday worlds of being professional athletes either to have some family time, see the world or perhaps create a little family of their own.

With this, the first week of the Lions’ NFL camp, we caught up with some players to find out the most exciting things they did during the offseason.

Wide receiver Jeremy Ross: “I got engaged (to former Cal runner Tracey Stewart). I took her to the Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco and went up to the top on the 40th floor, looking over the whole bay. Had a table for two with strawberries with chocolate, chocolate-covered strawberries with rose petals leading to the table with a violinist playing and a photographer present as well. June 13. We’ve been together for a while. We’ve been really good friends for like seven years.

Linebacker DeAndre Levy: “This offseason I went to Nicaragua and Venezuela. I did that in March, April. In Nicaragua, actually, there was a volcano that I wanted to [see], you can hike and sled down. You hike and sled down it. Mount Roraima in Venezuela is an unbelievable experience. It has endemic species of frogs and plants that are just untouched, unchanged and I camped out there for two days and hiked it for four days.”

Defensive tackle C.J. Mosley: “I’m pretty boring in the offseason, man. I don’t do much, man. Nah, man. I try to make sure, I look at it like this, man. I got drafted in the sixth round. Each and every year, I just feel like I make it by the skin of my teeth. So I just try to limit distractions and make sure that I don’t get caught in nothing.”

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew: “Anniversary in Puerto Rico. It’s one year. It’s nice. It’s pretty low-key down there, chill. Everybody’s like happy down there. It’s not really too lively like a Miami or something like that. It’s pretty chill.”

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy (other than getting married): “Go on vacation. I’ve never been on vacation in my life. (Went to) St. Lucia and then went to Vegas. Of course, I’ve been to Vegas, but it’s my little vacation.”

Reporter: No vacation ever?

Van Noy: “I’ve never been outside of the West Coast for vacation, never been outside of the U.S. or have taken longer than three days, a weekend.”
Question of the Week is a weekly feature here where we take a cross-section of opinions from Detroit Lions players and coaches (and sometimes opponents) about a singular topic. Most of the time, they have nothing to do with football. Have a suggestion for a question? Email

Last season’s Questions of the Week.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- They showed up in courtesy vans and their own automobiles, in groups and on their own.

Rookies reported to Detroit Lions training camp on Tuesday to begin their first forays into a true NFL season. For some, it is their one chance to make the squad. For others, it is an opportunity to move up the depth chart and possibly steal a starting position.

They will be the youngest players in camp and likely among the most nervous at first, which led to the obvious first Question of the Week for the 2014 season.

Rookies, what are you most nervous about entering training camp?

Tight end Eric Ebron: It’s just doing what I got picked to do. It’s about being a team player, being here for guys, for the team, trying to help us succeed and advance and to do things that we know we are capable of doing. That’s really just, it’s not nervous, but you got picked first. Come on, you’re supposed to help with the whole process. So that’s really the only thing that weighs upon my head.

Receiver TJ Jones: Probably that first big hit. They always talk about it’s faster, they are faster, bigger, stronger in the NFL, which they are, so, really taking that first blindside or not really seeing someone coming and they take you out. Getting that first one out of the way.

Guard Bryce Quigley: It’s a brand new experience for me, so I’m not sure what to expect. I’m just really excited to be here.

offensive lineman Travis Swanson: It’s kind of hard to pinpoint. I think I was most nervous when I first came in here after the draft. You don’t know what to expect. Now, you kind of do, so It’s kind of hard to pinpoint what you’re most nervous about.

Quarterback James Franklin: Honestly just getting the play calls down. I feel confident knowing the plays and being able to execute them. It’s just being able to remember to tell everyone else in the huddle what they need to do.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The most-watched sporting event in the most popular sport in the world begins Thursday and in the United States, there will be potentially more attention than ever paid to the World Cup in Brazil.

That includes some of the athletes in the most popular sport in the United States -- the NFL. Ndamukong Suh was one of the Nike athletes that modeled the jerseys the Americans will wear in South America throughout the competition. Last season, when the World Cup draw was announced, Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah made a not-so-bold prediction: His home country, Ghana, would beat the United States again when the teams play in their Group G opener Monday.

In the spirit of the summer and the World Cup, a bunch of Detroit Lions were willing to offer their selections for either who they felt would win the World Cup -- or at least who they wanted to win. (And for what it's worth, when I tried to talk to Ansah about the World Cup on Monday, he declined talking to the media about anything.)

Ansah gave his opinion earlier. Here are some others from the Lions -- including some South American love from Calvin Johnson. And if you missed it, Barry Sanders is in a commercial promoting the World Cup on ESPN, one of many saying I Believe We Will Win. Watch the video. It's pretty awesome.

This isn't a true in-season Question of the Week, but to view prior Questions of the Week from the 2013 season, check out this link.

WR Calvin Johnson: "Phew, that's tough. I like Argentina. I've always liked them since '06. I've been playing with them in the World Cup since '06. Other than that, always like to see the States make it."

So who wins?

CJ: "I would say Argentina."

LB Stephen Tulloch: "I want to say USA but Brazil's strong. Italy's strong. There's good competition. I like Brazil. I've always been a Brazil fan. Ronaldo back in the day. I've just always been a fan of them so I'll see what they can do."

WR Ryan Broyles: "I don't even watch it enough, but my favorite team (club) is Real Madrid. So I'd go with Spain then. They've got Barcelona. They've got Real Madrid. There are players from those teams and those are the teams I play with in FIFA so I really don't branch out outside of that. So I'm just playing favoritism. You know what I mean. Guys that I know that I play with. I would say USA, but man, it's tough for them."

WR Kris Durham: "Who do you think I think is going to win? I'm going USA. Yes. Why would I not go for them? That's the real question. You've got to go for the home country. Obviously there's some good countries around there, but I don't know enough about soccer. I just go for the home country."

P Sam Martin: "You know what I'm supposed to say. US, baby. That's all I care about. For real. I mean, obviously you've got the powerhouses, Spain, Brazil. But the US has got a good team this year. I'm a huge fan, dude. I love the World Cup. I look forward to it every time it comes around and I'm not going to miss a US game. You've got to believe. You've got to believe. Period."

K Nate Freese: "I'd like to say the US but even their head coach says [no]. I like Brazil, though. Being at home, they've got some pretty great players on the team."

K Giorgio Tavecchio: "Either Italy or the United States. That's my two countries. I can't pick one. I hope Italy and the United States make it to the final, let's put it that way."

But who do you think will win?

Tavecchio: "I don't know. There's a lot of great teams. Brazil I think is the favorite. They are at home. I've heard them defined as a mixture of steel and silk. Very talented, very physical and very fast paced. But if Italy gets past the first round, they are always dangerous. They find a way of making it happen in the important games."

OL Rodney Austin: "USA."

To win? Why?

Austin: "That's where we're from. USA all the way."

C Dominic Raiola: "USA."

QB Dan Orlovsky: "I will [watch], for sure. I don't know much about soccer. I can never against the United States, though. If that's a dumb pick, I'm OK with that. After watching 'Lone Survivor,' I can't."

TE Brandon Pettigrew: "I don't even know who is in it. Thirty-two countries, I had no idea. Hopefully the US. I really don't watch soccer. Don't really know anything about it, but I'd definitely go for the atmosphere."

QOTW: New Year's resolutions

December, 27, 2013
Question of the Week is a feature where we ask different Detroit Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous Questions of the Week: Welcome to the NFL moment; Job if no football; Pregame meal; Favorite Holiday; Historical figure; Free year's supply of...; Why you wear your number; Best Halloween costume; TV character; Super Hero alter ego; Cake...or Steak; Entrance music; Nicknamed jerseys

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- It is almost a new year, both in the world of the NFL and on the actual calendar as 2013 flips to 2014 in less than a week.

And with the Detroit Lions' season coming to a conclusion Sunday at Minnesota, we caught up with some of the Lions about their New Year’s resolutions heading into 2014 -- and in some cases, next season, for the final Question of the Week for the year.

OL Rodney Austin: Lose 15 pounds. I want to come back in the best shape of my entire life and I’m just really trying to get back to that feeling I had my last full season in college. My senior year got cut short. The year before, I was an All-American and going into that year, I was in probably the best shape I’ve ever seen myself in and a lot of people were taking notice of it.

Reporter: What were you then?

Austin: I was 310. Played the whole year right around 310 and ballin’, you know. So, just trying to get back down to that. Cut down a little weight, get my wind up a little more, work on my conditioning a lot. Maybe take a little bit less of a break this offseason and get back into it. I want to come back and leave no doubt I’m ready to be on an NFL field next season.

CB Rashean Mathis: To be a better father. To be a better husband. To be a better man of God than I was. And if I’m a better man of God, everything else, locker room intangibles with the guys, better husband, better dad, all of that will take care of itself if I root myself the way I need to be rooted.

WR Kris Durham: Pray more and give more. Been blessed. I just feel like that's what I need to do with my life. That’s something I really need to do.

DE Devin Taylor: Not now. It’s six days. There’s usually a couple things that I’ll probably think of that I want to do for the next year but right now I haven’t thought of anything specific.

Returner Jeremy Ross: I don’t really have a New Year’s resolution. One day doesn’t define my whole life and who I decide to be or who I am. I just continue to grow through the year or throughout the year. I don’t choose one day throughout the year to make plans or to be like, ‘Hey, I’m going to change this one whole thing,’ because if you haven’t changed it already, a new year is not going to do it for you. So I don’t do the whole New Year’s resolution thing.

WR Corey Fuller: I don’t have one. I don’t think I should wait for New Year’s to come up with a resolution because people who really do that are only doing that because it’s New Year’s and they only stick with it for a couple of weeks.

LB Ashlee Palmer: To be the best father in the world. Best father in the world. Taking care of my kids. That’s a New Year’s resolution, man.

RB Theo Riddick: I don’t really have one, man. Just to be alive for another year, I guess. Can’t take that for granted.

QOTW: Welcome to the NFL moment

December, 18, 2013
Question of the Week is a feature where we ask different Detroit Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous QOTW: Job if no NFL; Pregame meal; Favorite Holiday; Historical figure; Free year’s supply of;Why you wear your number; Best Halloween costume; TV character; Super Hero alter ego;Cake...or Steak?; Entrance music; Nicknamed jerseys.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Every player has had one of these moments. Whether it is playing with someone, lining up across from someone, being flattened by someone or making a horrible error. It’s the "Welcome to the NFL moment." Each player, coach and probably every person around the game has it at one point or another.

So with the season winding down, we caught up with some Detroit Lions to find out what their moment was.

C Dominic Raiola: 2002. Even in 2001, my rookie year, I got in the game very sporadically, lining up on the line against the Bears, playing against Keith Traylor and Ted Washington. You remember how big those guys were?

Michael Rothstein: You ever sit there and think it was intimidating or like ‘What the heck?’

Raiola: Yeah, you had to get your feet wet. Not going to just jump in. I think everybody at first, but the competitor comes out. I was picked in the second round for a reason and I had to lean on that and lean on working hard and getting better.

Wide receiver Nate Burleson: A couple. One time I got my sweatsuit drenched out in water and hung out outside in the cold and it froze. Got taped. Got my eyebrows shaved. Randy Moss called me ‘Dummyson.’ There was a whole bunch of them.


NB: Dummyson. Because my last name is Burleson, Dummyson. He thought it was hilarious. And I would mess up, like every other rookie, I would mess up plays and he would be like, ‘Come on, Dummyson, you can’t mess up.’

Right tackle LaAdrian Waddle: I’d say the first play I actually got in for game action. For one, it was me getting in the game and two, it was a play we don’t run too often with the tackle pulling but just, kind of like, it kind of got me going.

Did you wake up after that?

LW: Yeah. I didn’t have time to freak out and panic just because of the circumstances. That would be my moment. That type of play on my first play actually in a game.

Running back Reggie Bush: It’s a good question. It was eight years ago for me. I think I remember playing the Dallas Cowboys in preseason my rookie year and they tried to run a swing route, like some kind of bubble screen or swing to me. I tried to outrun DeMarcus Ware to the sideline. He caught me.

What happened?

RB: I just couldn’t outrun him. He’s fast. I think that’s when I realized, 'Damn, these guys are fast at this level.' I really tried to outrun him. And I couldn’t do it.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford: My first start, playing the eventual Super Bowl champion that year, the New Orleans Saints, probably that. Playing at their place, one of the loudest stadiums in the league against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. At that point they had a really good defense and against a tough coordinator. That was an eye-opener.

More nerves for you that game than ever?

MS: Not nerves. The biggest thing I remember from that game is how fast they go by. College game, it’s a slower pace. Every first down stops the clock. That game, fourth quarter came around and next thing you knew, the game was over. It was kind of eye-opening.

Wide receiver Kris Durham: I was actually playing in Seattle and lined up across from Champ Bailey. He looked at me and said, ‘What’s up Bulldog?’ He went to Georgia, so we went to the same school. So when he said that, I was like, ‘OK, cool, Champ Bailey knows who I am.’ That was kind of my I made it in the NFL moment.

I was waiting for the punchline of, "then the ball was snapped and he flattened me into the ground."

KD: No, no. None of that. It was like a run play or something. I just remember him doing that. In Denver.
Question of the Week is a feature where we ask different Detroit Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous QOTW: Pregame meal; Favorite Holiday; Historical figure; Free year’s supply of; Why you wear your number; Best Halloween costume; TV character; Super Hero alter ego; Cake...or Steak?; Entrance music; Nicknamed jerseys.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- For every NFL player, there will come a time where playing football will no longer be an option. Be it talent or age or just the end of a career, eventually, every player must transition into something else.

But what if football were never an option -- at least on the professional level. What would some Detroit Lions have done then?

We caught up with some Lions to ask them for this week’s Question of the Week.

LB Rocky McIntosh: I’d be a FBI agent. That’s my dream, man. Oh yeah. Just have that power and authority and be secretive and do a lot of things like that.

Reporter: Are you going to do that when you’re done?

McIntosh: I interned down there and go visit those guys all the time and shoot with them and things like that, but probably not.

[+] EnlargeWillie Young
AP Photo/John CordesIf football hadn't been an option, Lions defensive end Willie Young might have tried his hand at building custom fishing rods.
DE Willie Young: Take one guess? Right now I would be home in my buddy’s garage, Ryan Chance, and we would be building custom rods right now and shipping them out and getting ready to go catch some sailfish.

Reporter: That’d be pretty cool and I know you want to get into fishing. Are you building rods now?

Young: I’m going to get into that process with my buddy when I get back, man. He’s building right now and he’s built a few rods for me. He actually built the rod I have on my Twitter page, that one blue one, he made that rod for me. I’ve got my name on it, got the Lions logo on it, blue, silver and grey, I think it is. That’s definitely what I’ll be doing. When I get back home, just start doing that. I guess some time I’m going to set up a class to go get my captain’s license so I can start a small charter thing. Get a couple buddies to come down and, you know, just have a good time.

QB Kellen Moore: If football is not the option, then I probably wouldn’t be coaching. If I could be coaching, then I’d do that. If not, then I’d be a teacher.

Reporter: What would you teach?

Moore: I don’t know. Math or PE. Some sort of fun thing in school. History. I don’t know.

LG Rob Sims: Probably something in the car industry. Growing up, my uncle owned a couple car dealerships when I was younger. That’s what I want to do when I’m done playing. I’d probably be working towards that in some way.

Reporter: So selling cars? Like you’re the guy on the floor?

Sims: If I wasn’t playing football, I would be starting off selling cars, I would assume. And then eventually be an owner of some sort.

P Sam Martin: I obviously couldn’t have done it right out of college but I did a big project on franchising and you’ve got to have serious capital for that, which I couldn’t do. But I would have worked somehow towards being able to franchise. The ultimate goal.

Reporter: What would you have franchised?

Martin: One of the ones I looked into was Jimmy John’s. Jimmy John’s in a good one. Chik-Fil-A is a good one. But I really don’t know. I don’t have a good answer. I’m actually trying to figure out my life right now for when it’s time to make that decision.
Question of the Week is a feature where we ask different Detroit Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous QOTW: Favorite holiday; Historical figure; Free year's supply of; Why you wear your number; Best Halloween costume; TV character; Super hero alter ego; Cake...or Steak?; Entrance music; Nicknamed jerseys.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Food is often a popular topic among players. Meals are important, from what they put into their bodies throughout the week to having foods named after them at local restaurants.

And when they go on the road, what do they eat?

We spoke with some Detroit Lions players about what their pregame or night before the game meal was for this edition of Question of the Week.

C Dominic Raiola: Night before, burger. I call those free calories because we burn them off anyway. Pregame, chicken breast, an egg white omelet, that’s about it.

Reporter: Always done that?

Raiola: I used to eat steaks before games. Filets. But I started eating chicken breast. I don’t know. I think I did it one week and we kept winning. I’m superstitious like that.

WR Nate Burleson: I eat pretty much the same thing. It’s usually just a light breakfast. We’ll go with some eggs and bacon. Little bit of potatoes to hold me down. But really, I like being hungry at halftime.

Reporter: Why?

Burleson: When I’m full, I don’t feel like I’m fast. So that way I always eat a big meal after the game. Starving.

RB Theo Riddick: I don’t really have one. Night before I probably won’t eat that much and the day of, I won’t even eat. It all depends.

Reporter: Why?

Riddick: Just something I’ve always did since I was a kid. Just, I don’t know. It’s weird.

Reporter: You’d think you want energy.

Riddick: Yeah, I mean, it doesn’t affect me in any sense. I’m not really a morning person, don’t really eat breakfast.

S Glover Quin: Nah, I don’t do anything specific. I just eat. Not a real big eater before games. I don’t really eat that much.

RB Reggie Bush: I really don’t have one. Maybe steak and mashed potatoes. Night before.

Reporter: Same thing every time?

Bush: Usually varies. Depends on the hotel and how good the food is. Sometimes, they have bad food.

WR Kris Durham: Night before, always go with the spaghetti and like grilled chicken and some vegetables, whether it is broccoli or whatever.

Reporter: Always done that?

Durham: Yeah, in a similar way. It’s kind of the go-to for every football team. Kind of always the same general stuff.

LB Stephen Tulloch: Pasta. Always been.

Reporter: Anything specific?

Tulloch: Nah, man. Just eat pasta and meat sauce, brother.

Reporter: Start that in college?

Tulloch: High school man. Pre-game meal. Stuck with it all the way through. Be consistent.

LG Rob Sims: Usually a nice cheeseburger. We eat pasta away usually. Before it’s usually pancakes or waffles, something like that.

Returner Micheal Spurlock: I don’t have specific. Pretty much every meal across the board is going to be pasta, some type of steak or chicken. Pregame meal, our games are early so I have an omelet, a little spaghetti and broccoli and that’s about it.

Reporter: Omelet and spaghetti? How does your stomach feel after that?

Spurlock: My stomach is fine. Yeah. You have the omelet for breakfast and you need the carbs so you go from there. I don’t think it’s nothing specific you have. Just keep routine and go from there.

P Sam Martin: Night before it’s different, whatever they have. In the morning I’ll have steak and eggs there. They have that option, so I do two fried eggs and a steak. It’s a tiny steak. Maybe like a 6 ounce steak. I normally don’t even eat it all. I don’t have much of an appetite in the mornings. I’ll always get that plate. Sometimes I won’t eat any of it. I will eat some fruit, though.

QOTW: Favorite holiday

November, 27, 2013
Question of the Week is a feature where we ask different Detroit Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous Questions: Historical figure; Free year’s supply of what?; Why you wear your jersey; Halloween costume; Cake... or Steak; TV character; Entrance music; Super Hero Alter Ego; Nicknamed jerseys.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Lions play Thursday on Thanksgiving Day, the official start to the holiday season.

With that in mind, we caught up with some Detroit Lions this week to discuss their favorite holidays and why.

CB Darius Slay: Christmas. Just cause I get a lot of gifts. I do a lot of receiving but then again, I give a lot out. I like giving out. I make sure my mom and them are all right with Christmas stuff. I used to do a lot of Christmas stuff but I like Christmas because I get stuff, too.


WR Kris Durham: Are we talking about real holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, all that stuff?

Reporter: Broad based. Someone told me the Feast of Trumpets.

Durham: I don’t know what that is, either. I like Christmas just cause the tradition of going to my grandparents and all of that stuff. I’ve been able to be home for 22 of ‘em. Not anymore. Just cause all the family comes around. Thanksgiving, people kind of split it up but Christmas usually ends up in the same place.

Reporter: They Skype you in these days?

Durham: No, they come up here and they’ll be here until the 23rd or 24th or so and then they’ll leave. So Christmas Day I’ll wake up and be like, ‘Merry Christmas.’ To myself. So I like Christmas. Then the second one would probably be St. Patrick’s Day, because it’s my birthday. It’s a great day. Everyone wears green for my birthday. Chicago dyes the river for me.


S Don Carey: It’s probably going to shock you. It’s probably going to be the Feast of Trumpets.

Reporter: The what?

Carey: It’s not an American holiday. You call it a Jewish holiday but it’s a Biblical holiday.

Reporter: I’m Jewish and I’ve never heard of this holiday.

Carey: You never heard of the seven feasts of the Lord? Biblically, the day where our Messiah comes. That’s the day the Messiah returns, man, that’s what we looking forward to. That’s what every believer is looking forward to, the day that their Lord returns.


K David Akers: Christmas. Just with my faith and where I am, for me, it kind of defines who I am as a person.

Reporter: Has it always been that way?

Akers: Just growing up through that way. But I’m a licensed minister so obviously it hits a little deeper in that aspect.


DL Xavier Proctor: I’d probably have to say Halloween or Thanksgiving. My birthday is the day after Halloween and Thanksgiving because it’s just great food. I love Halloween. I just like it because the day before my birthday or going into my birthday, everyone’s dressed up in celebration, so it’s pretty cool.


WR Jeremy Ross: Christmas. You get to give. Sometimes it’s cool when you get to give and see the reaction of people and how grateful people are when you can give.

Reporter: That’s a meaningful answer. I thought you’d say something about getting gifts.

Ross: Nah, I stopped getting gifts in high school. It’s been cool to give to my nephews and nieces and stuff like that, buy them stuff. Get to see them happy and have a good Christmas.

QOTW: Meeting a historical figure

November, 20, 2013
Question of the Week is a feature where we ask different Detroit Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous QOTW: Free year’s supply of what?; Why you wear your jersey; Halloween cosutme; Cake... or Steak; TV character; Entrance Music; Super Hero Alter Ego; Nicknamed jerseys.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- History has had some amazing, fascinating figures -- some who do good, some who do bad and some who have names that live on long after they have passed on.

So this week, we decided to ask some Detroit Lions who is the one person from history they would want to meet. Completely open-ended, so they could pick anyone they wanted.

This question also came to me randomly because of the 50th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy -- who is the person in history I would most like to meet.

Now on to the Lions answers:

DE Devin Taylor: I’d probably say Ben Franklin. He was actually a pretty creative guy, was an inventor of a lot of different things. So going back to see how his ideas created different things back than that we use today.

WR Kevin Ogletree: Probably be Abe Lincoln. He was under so much scrutiny from dealing with so much, from having basically two different countries. His resolve and honesty. I don’t know, I have a lot of respect for Abe and a lot of respect for American History in itself and it was always interesting growing up. And it would be really cool to see a 6-8 former president with a big beard. It’d just be cool.

RB Reggie Bush: Dead or alive? I would have to say Martin Luther King Jr. Just because of what he stood for, the type of man he was. I would have liked to have met him and what motivated him and just, kind of, learned about him as a person and who he was. I would have loved to have picked his brain and just sat with him, that would have been so cool. Such a rare opportunity.

DT Nick Fairley: I wouldn’t say a historical figure but a player I grew up watching was Reggie White and I always wanted to meet him. Growing up, I was always the big guy, on the line, defensive, offensive line. I watched him and that was one of my favorite players and I liked how he played the game. That was one player I always wanted to meet and I wasn't able to, but I watch his film.

LB Rocky McIntosh: Probably Julius Caesar. What he did in however many years of his reign, there’s not a lot of bad memories about him.

Reporter: Except getting killed.

McIntosh: By others. Others with jealousy and that tends to happen with people in power anyway. He did a lot of things with Romans during his time. Accomplished so much and just him as a leader, it was really astonishing.

DE Willie Young: Bernie Mac.

QOTW: Free year's supply of what?

November, 13, 2013
Question of the Week is a feature where we ask different Detroit Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein.

Previous QOTW: Why you wear your jersey; Halloween costume; Cake... or Steak; TV character; Entrance music; Super hero alter ego; Nicknamed jerseys.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Nate Burleson received a free year's supply of DiGiorno Pizza coupons in October, sparking his interest in possibly putting together a commercial for them and also, well, a lot of free pizza.

It also gave us an idea. What do other Lions want a free year's supply of? And what about Burleson himself? Welcome to this week's Question of the Week (also featuring a guest appearance by a Pittsburgh Steeler).

Wide receiver Nate Burleson: I don’t know but I’m racking up these year supplies, though. Year supply of Skittles. Just got the box today.

What did you get a year’s supply of Skittles for?

Burleson: I don’t know, man. I’m getting a lot of stuff these days. Dearborn Brands meat, I think I’m turning into the food guy. Send him some food, he’ll Instagram yet.

So like Nate’s Bistro? Nate’s restaurant?

Burleson: Cafe Nate.

Burleson (later): I’m getting hooked up, man. Skittles sent me this man, yeah. All I got to do is put my Skittles grin on, Instagram it. You feel me? Put my hat on, gotta represent the D while I’m doing it. You know what I’m saying. ... Year’s supply. Free Skittles. You guys like Skittles?

WR Jeremy Ross: That’s a good question. Girl Scout cookies. Thin mints. They the bomb. Best cookies out, made. I’m telling you. That would be on point. On point.

CB Rashean Mathis: Golf balls. I’m an avid golfer.

Avid or average?

Mathis: Avid. I’m way above average. That’s what I do. I probably have fallen in love with that more than anything else, other than my wife and son.

WR Kevin Ogletree: Gas. Why do you think?

I have my reasons.

Ogletree: If you didn’t have to pay for gas, you would go everywhere and everything would be convenient.

Steelers WR Antonio Brown: Dental floss. I love to floss, especially after you eat a lot. I usually keep a couple in my pocket just to make sure my teeth are clean and make sure I don’t get cavities at the dentist. I floss every time after I eat.

C Dominic Raiola: No idea. I mean, steak? Filet mignon. You have a year’s supply, it’s expensive and I eat it a lot.

TE Joseph Fauria: Oh jeez. Gotta be food. Gotta be a food. Double-doubles. In N' Out double-doubles.

TE Brandon Pettigrew: That's tough. Anything? Ooh. I have no idea what I would pick. Probably, I have no idea. I want to say something right in front of me like lotion but I'd probably say shoes or something. I don't know. Probably be something food related, like chips or something.

TE Martell Webb: Jordans.

WR Kris Durham: I would take a year’s supply of, that’s tough. A year’s supply of, to go with the food aspect, I’d go with Chipotle burritos.

That’s probably what I’d go with, too.

Durham: Yeah, it’s pretty solid.
Question of the Week is a new feature where we ask different Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous QOTW: Nicknamed jerseys; Super hero alter ego; Entrance music; TV character; Cake ... or Steak; Halloween costume

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Numbers with athletes have always been a point of contention. In the pros, guys will pay money just to wear a certain number. In colleges, it can be part of a recruiting pitch.

For others, it means nothing.

[+] EnlargeStafford and Bush
Matt Sullivan/Getty ImagesSome Lions players have an emotional attachment to their jersey numbers. Others just took what was available, and some haven't gotten used to new digits.
For the Question of the Week, we asked different Detroit Lions why they wear the numbers they wear.

LG Rob Sims (No. 67): Well, no. I was kind of wearing 77 and that was kind of a thing for my pops, who wore 79, 78 and that was like my only number. When he passed away, I decided to go, I knew I needed to change and just went a different route.

Reporter: So you changed it when your dad passed?

Sims: Yeah, when my dad passed and I got in the league, I changed my number. I just knew I needed a fresh start and I needed to not hang on to that kind of stuff and all that. I never told nobody that because it was something like, 'Hey, I'm changing it up.' It was nothing like emotional about it or anything like that.

Reporter: Was it emotions, though?

Sims: When my dad passed, very. But I think it was me being like, OK, on my own. Change stuff up. That's kind of why I did it. Guys do it for different reasons.

QB Matthew Stafford (No. 9): They didn't have 7. [John] Elway was kind of the guy I liked watching growing up and I wore 7 when I was young and I was in high school and then I wore it in college. Tried to wear it here, but they don't have it. You can't wear 7 here, it's Dutch Clark.

RG Larry Warford (No. 75): They gave it to me. I didn't get to choose it, they were like, here, here's 75.

Reporter: What about college?

Warford: I was 67 since my freshman year of high school. I was 67 all the way through college and all the way through high school and then I got here and 67 was [taken] and [in a sad voice] 'I have to change, I don't know who I am anymore.'

Reporter: Some guys are really particular.

Warford: It's part of your identity. You feel like you own it, like that's who I am, I'm 67. I'm 75 now, but when it gets taken away from you, it's like 'This doesn't feel like me.' It takes some time, but it's cool. It's cool to start over new. 75, going to make it my own now.

Reporter: Why 67?

Warford: It was given to me when I was young and I was like, my freshman year, they had it and I'll make this my own and I felt comfortable with it and I just wanted to keep it through my whole career.

Reporter: Reggie (Bush) said sometimes he still signs 22 because he's not used to 21. Was that an issue?

Warford: Yeah, I did that a couple times. I signed something, it'd be a Lions thing and I'd be like Larry Warford, Sixty-sev..., oh, here you go. It's just habit. Like, oh, 6-7. I broke into the 7-5 now, 6-7 doesn't come up anymore. It's cool, though.

WR Kris Durham (No. 18): It's what they gave me. I wore 16 in college and wore it in college but Titus was here when I got here so they gave me 18, which was great. If I had to pick a number in the NFL, I'd pick 16 because it was what I wore in college.

Reporter: Why 16?

Durham: It's what they gave me in college. It kind of grew on me. But I like 18 a lot, I like 17, 18 or 19. My birthday's the 17th. I've always liked even numbers but my cousin wore 19 in high school so I would wear 19.

RB Reggie Bush (No. 21): That was the next best number that was available. I was going to try and stick with 22 but that's obviously retired and Mikel [Leshoure] had 25. They told me 21 is available and I've always loved 21. Deion Sanders has worn it, a lot of great players have worn 21.

WR Kevin Ogletree (No. 11): That was my basketball number. I haven't worn a low number like that since my freshman year in high school. I wore it in freshman year of football. You know, when you get to pick your number and there's not that many and you've got a couple that look cool and 11 was the coolest to me. Those 1's, right. It's definitely different because I'm used to 85. I was born August 5th so that kind of worked out.

TE Joseph Fauria (No. 80): Nah, I was single dig at UCLA. I had two choices and 80 would be nice, a good tight end number and kind of reminiscent of college, just add a zero. And I think it's fun to say 'Ocho-Zero,' it's funny. That's it. Spanglish. Eighty-one was my grandfather's number, but it's kind of taken by somebody important.

DT C.J. Mosley (No. 99): Originally Warren Sapp. Warren Sapp was my favorite player growing up.

Reporter: You say originally. Has that changed?

Mosley: It's like the end of the line. 1 through 99, 99 is the last guy so it's the end of the line. My mentality is whatever it is, it's going to stop at 99. That's kind of with it. But Warren Sapp, that's my guy.

QOTW: Best Halloween costume

October, 31, 2013
Question of the Week is a feature in which we ask different Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein

Previous Questions of the Week: Nicknamed jerseys; super hero alter ego; entrance music; TV character; Cake...or Steak?

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- When you're a kid and even now, when you're a grown-up, Halloween always seems to take hold of the creative parts of people all across America.

[+] EnlargeBret Michaels
Getty ImagesWho knew that Bret Michaels would make for such a great Halloween costume?
The Detroit Lions locker room is no different.

While the Lions are off this week, we caught up with them before they took off on their bye to discuss some of the best Halloween costumes Lions players and coaches ever wore (for me, it was probably a wrestler when I was young...hopefully all pictures have been burned).

And we'll start with a walk through the superhero neighborhood in California.

Right guard Larry Warford: The first Halloween costume I can remember, I was Wolverine. It was boss. That's the only one I remember. This is when I was 5 or 6. I was still skinny. I remember that distinctly because I remember walking down the street and kids were like, 'Hey, Wolverine,' and then I was like, ‘What's up, Hulk? How you doing?'

Reporter: Where was this?

Warford: It was in California, when I lived near Sacramento.

Reporter: Did you go with a bunch of friends?

Warford: I was with my mom. So we were just walking down the street and kids would be passing us and they'd be all superheroes and stuff, all these cool things. Always be like, 'Hey man.'

Tight end Joseph Fauria: I've had some good ones. Just last year, I wore a sumo outfit and I think Halloween was on a Wednesday last year. I wore it to meetings and all of class and everything.

Reporter: Please tell me you wore it in front of the media.

Fauria: We didn't have media here like there. But yeah, I wore a sumo outfit all day last year. Class and meetings, yeah. Wait until you see what [Sam Martin and Fauria] have planned for Monday.

Reporter: You're doing Halloween costumes together?

Punter Sam Martin: Yeah, and it's going to be epic. Now that's something you could write about.

Fauria: That should go on the ESPN blog.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford: I was grown up Mario a couple years ago. Yeah, that was probably one of my better ones. We had a group of six and we went as all Mario Brothers characters. It was a really good one.

Defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson: Oh man, I don't know. I might have been Batman or something like that. That might have been my favorite one. That's the one I remember.

Reporter: The tights and everything?

Robertson: Yeah, I had the whole hookup. I didn't have a whole lot growing up but I had that costume but I think that was the best one, Batman. I was like 7 or 8 years old.

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew: As a kid? You know what, I don't even remember. I did little stuff in college, just went as like a sleepover dude, like sleeping pants and a tie. I want to say a Ninja Turtle, though. I was young. I was Donatello. I like purple.

Wide receiver Kris Durham: When I was young, I used to dress up as a Power Ranger, because I was a big Power Ranger fan.

Reporter: Which one?

Durham: The red one. That was probably the best one that I had. I went all out for it. My grandmother was kind of a seamstress so I had the full mask. I looked good. ... I wore a pretty solid Peter Pan one when I was young, too.

Reporter: Why?

Durham: That's because my sister wanted to be Disney characters, so I went as Peter Pan. My sister picked out what I was supposed to wear, but it was pretty solid. I had green tights on, the feather in the hat, everything. I was good.

Martin: I was Bret Michaels one year and it was perfect. I had the hair. It was my sophomore or junior year in college, no, freshman year. I got the wig and I had this chick do the wig up exactly how he wore it, braided in the front and everything. Headband. Drew his exact tattoos on me. It was awesome. Wore eye makeup. It was like the best, not because of the idea but because of how good it was.
Question of the Week is a new feature where we ask different Lions the same question on various topics -- some funny, some issue-based, some football-related and some completely off the wall. To suggest a potential question for QOTW, email or make the suggestion on Twitter @mikerothstein.

Previous QOTW: Nicknamed jerseys; Super hero alter ego; Entrance music; TV character.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- It is the most important question in mankind, without any question. It is a debate that will continue for as long as humans will consume food, for as long as they decide to eat meat.

There is no wrong answer, only two unbelievably delectable correct ones. This is what faced the Detroit Lions this week. The question for the ages.

Cake? Or Steak? And then there is the unanswerable -- what about a steak cake.

Center Dominic Raiola: Steak. Steak, it kind of looks better on you after you eat it than a piece of cake. Bone-in filet. Leanest and that bone makes it juicy.

Quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Matthew Stafford:
Both: Steak.

Reporter: Why?

Stafford: I like salt and stuff more than I like sweets. I’d rather have chips and salsa.

Hill: What if they had a steak cake?

Stafford: It’d be interesting. I don’t know. I just love steak.

Reporter: You’re from Texas, what steak?

Stafford: I like New York Strip, that’s a good one for me. Bone-in.

Reporter: So, Shaun, what type of steak would you get?

Hill: Filet.

Stafford: Petite.

Hill: I don’t know.

Running back Montell Owens: I love cake, man. I’m a vanilla cake guy with vanilla icing. Always. Always. If I had a birthday cake it would be vanilla cake with vanilla icing. Triple layer.

Quarterback Kellen Moore: I’ll go steak. If you said cheesecake, I’d probably go cheesecake.

Reporter: It could be any type of cake.

Moore: I was thinking birthday cake. I’ll still go steak. I’ll stick with steak. Nothing better than a steak dinner with some mashed potatoes and a couple green things on the side.

Reporter: Was that typical fare at Boise?

Moore: No, we were not one of those programs that had the nice filet mignon every day, no. Not at all. Usually once a week, pregame meal, you got the good steak. We enjoyed it.

Right tackle Corey Hilliard: Cake. I’m a sucker for sweets. Love sweets. If I had to have one cake, red velvet. It’s delicious.

Right guard Larry Warford: Steak. I’m not a sweets fan. Honestly, I’m not even a steak fan. I’d just rather not eat cake. I don’t know.

Reporter: You’re a lineman, you’d think cake would be...

Warford: Misconception. I’m not even a steak guy but cake would make my stomach hurt. It makes my stomach hurt.

Reporter: So what steak would you eat?

Warford: I’d choose not steak. Freaking chicken or lobster or something. I’m not even a steak guy, really.

Cornerback Chris Houston: Cake. Just a regular vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. That’s my favorite. It’s my favorite. My base. My birthday is (last) Friday and my mom will be down here (last) week and I know I’m going to get one of them.

Punter Sam Martin: Steak. Steak’s one of my favorite foods for one but also I’m not a big cake guy. There are very few cakes I really like and if I do, I’m eating half a slice. Too heavy for me. Steak all day.

Reporter: What type?

Martin: Um, filet medium rare. Hyde Park has a great one, the place in Birmingham (Mich.). It’s Matt’s bone-in filet. Great steak. One of the best I’ve had in a while.

Wide Receiver Kris Durham: I would eat a steak. Well, it would depend on what type of cake it is, obviously, and what type of steak, but Friday nights usually I go and get myself a nice steak. I like to get a filet, a good bone-in filet is probably my favorite.