Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is a (rather large and) complicated man.
He's made headlines this season by grabbing Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber by the hair while tackling him and by being penalized on Sunday for using a forearm shiver to take down Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Off the field, however, he's a gentle giant. He's soft-spoken and polite and, on Tuesday's visit to ESPN, was wearing a singular, sequined glove like Michael Jackson used to wear.
The glove is a limited-edition replica made as part of a charity campaign tied to the release of the "Michael Jackson The Experience" video game for Wii. Game publisher Ubisoft worked with Michael Jackson's estate to come up with the campaign, in which celebrities will wear the gloves, then auction signed versions for charity. Suh's auction proceeds will go to the Detroit Medical Center.
So is the 6-foot-4, 307-pound defensive lineman breakin' it down at home like MJ?
"He was an excellent dancer, so it's tough to replicate him, but I try my best to get close to him," Suh said. "All his practice made him perfect, so I need 10 to 20 times more practice than he did."
For Suh, the opportunity to be linked to Jackson at all was a thrill.
"Me and my sister had all his videos on VHS," Suh said. "Pretty much any time we were stuck in the house, we put the video on, dance to him, watch him. 'Thriller,' 'Beat It,' 'Bad,' just being able to go back and reminisce to those things. Definitely a huge Michael Jackson fan. Now to be older, to still be a fan of him, being able to work with that estate, not that many people can say that they've had an opportunity to have some connection to Michael Jackson."
This mental image seems at odds with the terror on the football field, which he realizes.
"I don't know why. I am just kind of a laid-back person. I flip a switch when I am on the field. My best analogy of it is that I'm bipolar," he said. "On the field, mean streak, going after, killing quarterbacks, killing running backs. Off the field, mild-mannered, goes about his business and wants to help other people that he can."