It seems to be the new NFL tradition, though the general thought goes back a long time. Skill-position players with great years want to the reward the "big uglies" who pave the way for their gaudy stats. Before, it might have been gold watches or steak dinners for everyone on an offensive line -- and with those guys, the dinners might cost more than the watches.
Last year, Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush bought Segways for his offensive line, and now, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has followed suit. According to our friends at CSN Houston, Foster purchased the mobile walkabout devices for all the guys who block for him.
As it was with the letterman jackets the team recently designed and sported, Segway use has become a Texans team trend. Foster, fellow running back Ben Tate, defensive lineman J.J. Watt, and receiver Andre Johnson also scoot around on the things. Foster's linemen have made fun of him for it, but he solved that by riding each of the Segways into the locker room, one by one.
“Anytime I give a gift, I always try to give something thoughtful,” Foster said. “A couple of guys like Chris Myers and [Duane] Brown and Wade Smith always getting on me about riding my Segway. ‘You can’t walk? You too good to walk?’ I’m like, ‘Naw, man, I just like to ride wheels.’ I saw a little bit of jealously in their eyes when they were talking about me, so I figured I’d give all the linemen a gift.”
Some of the big guys handled their new rides better than others.
Brown hopped on the machine like a pro and was doing laps around the locker room and showers. “I’m a natural,” he said. Some of the other guys were a little more timid. Brandon Brooks stepped on, wiggled back and forth furiously, and bailed before a Segway catastrophe.
Foster said that he's not worried about causing any injuries for the Texans, who stand at 12-2, and champions of the AFC South.
“Nah man, they’re professional athletes,” he said. “Sometimes they’re like a polar bear on ice, but they should be fine. You can’t go that fast on it so you might get a scrape when you fall, but I don’t think they’re going to fall.”
The best part of Foster's gesture was that he didn't just buy the machines for the starters -- every guy on the offensive line depth chart got one.
“It’s awesome,” Brown said. “For him to make that gesture is a big deal for us. I’m gonna block my hardest for 23 on Sunday.”
So, it had the desired effect.
“I can’t do anything without them,” Foster concluded. “If there’s no them, there’s no me. That’s what a team’s all about. It’s just my way of giving back to the big fellas up front.”
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