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Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Rewarding the offensive line with gifts

By Charles Curtis
ESPN The Magazine

When Arian Foster gave his O-linemen Segways, it wasn't the first time a player has gone Santa.
Playing on a successful offensive line in the NFL can turn into an episode of “The Price is Right” at the end of the year -- protecting a quarterback or opening a gaping hole for running backs can be rewarded with some truly gaudy gifts.

Just ask members of the Texans, who were recently rewarded by Arian Foster with Segways.

Here are a few other stocking stuffers that O-lines have received through the years:

Gift giver: Reggie Bush
Offensive line: 2011 Miami Dolphins
Gift: Segways, perhaps inspiring Foster.
Thank You note: “Direct Quote from the O Line: ‘This is the coolest gift I've ever received!’ Mission Complete!” -- Bush, on Twitter

Gift giver: Colt McCoy
Offensive line: 2011 Cleveland Browns
Gift: Big Green Egg charcoal grills
Thank You note: “That's pretty cool. I'm really excited to put it together. I know a lot of guys are foodies on the O-line as you can tell by the bellies on a few of us.” -- LT Joe Thomas

Gift giver: Tom Brady
Offensive line: 2008 New England Patriots
Gift: As part of an event with Audi and Best Buddies International, Brady doled out Audi Q7s to his linemen.
Thank You note: You can watch three members of the line react -- barely -- to Brady’s announcement here.

Gift giver: Carson Palmer
Offensive line: 2005 Cincinnati Bengals
Gift: One shiny new hot tub, delivered to each lineman’s home.
Thank You note: "He takes care of us every year." -- LT Levi Jones

Gift givers: Matt Ryan, Michael Turner
Offensive line: 2008 Atlanta Falcons
Gift: 42-inch plasma TVs
Thank You note: “You take care of me, I take care of you.” -- Turner

Gift givers: Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James
Offensive line: 1999 Indianapolis Colts
Gift: Gift certificates for suits as well as digital camcorders
Thank You note: "It’s a little presumptuous to expect him to give you gifts every year. But we do." -- G Ryan Lilja in 2010

Gift giver: Joe Montana
Offensive line: 1990 San Francisco 49ers
Gift: Rolex Presidential watches, which also were given to offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren and offensive line coach Bobb McKittrick.
Thank You note: “It's us that should be giving him the watch. The success of this organization, how we've been treated, how we travel, how much we make, it's a tribute to Joe, the guy who wears number 16.” -- RT Harris Barton