Editor's note: This is an extended version of an interview that appears in the Jan. 7 issue of ESPN The Magazine. Subscribe today!
A native of Ghana and graduate of the University of Central Florida, Asante Samuel was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL draft. He became a starter during the 2004 season and helped New England win two Super Bowls. Having since played for the Philadelphia Eagles and now the Atlanta Falcons, Samuel was selected to the Pro Bowl four straight seasons (2007-2010) and has reached the postseason in eight of his nine seasons in the NFL.
In a couple of weeks, that will be nine of 10. The Falcons, who have long qualified for the playoffs, host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in their final regular-season game of the season.
What question do you wish you were asked more often?
"Do you think you’ll be in the Hall of Fame?" The answer: Yes.
Which pro athlete would you never want to trade places with?
Michael Vick or any quarterback. I wouldn’t want to take all of those hits.
What was the last thing you Googled?
The rap group Goons United.
If you were a talk-how host, which celebrity would you want as your first guest?
Jay-Z or Oprah. Someone who’s special in business. I love learning about business.
Who would you want to play you in your biopic?
Denzel Washington. He probably understands what I’ve been through, and he’d act it out brilliantly.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Caffeine. I love Coke.
What do you like best about your job?
The interaction with the fellas. The camaraderie.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Going to work on payday. After I get paid, I go home and hang with the fellas.
Who is one person you met that you wish you'd had more time to talk to?
Muhammad Ali. In the late ’80s, he was at a gym that I used to box at. I caught him in the limo, shook his hand, talked for a few seconds. I wish I'd had more time.