The Ravens are a team composed of many different characters and personalities. The locker room is very much like a high school, with a diverse group of attitudes and temperaments. You've got the math geek, John Urschel, the loud-mouthed jock, Terrell Suggs, the quiet kid, Joe Flacco, and the quirky band geek, Justin Tucker. Yet one player stands out, not for a personality trait or oddity, but for his normalness.
That man would be Justin Forsett, the Pro-Bowl running back, business owner, song-writer, and accountant.
You see, many fans forget that players are just like us. Despite being mulit-millionaires who play a sport for a living, they still endure some of the problems that us 'normal people' face. Financial, martial, and emotional problems all hit NFL players hard. Players have to be smart with monetary decisions, personal actions, and support their families, all while being world-class athletes. It's not as easy as it sounds.
This is what makes Justin special. He's the 'reverse' poster boy of the NFL. Allow me to explain:
What the public thinks players generally do with those big contracts: buy exotic cars, mansions, etc.
What Justin Forsett does: his sweet ride is a 2008 Chevy Tahoe. He spends a humble $1,900 on rent each month, and keeps spending logs. He did break the bank however, on Christmas gifts for his linemen. They all received $1500 state-of-the-art televisions as a token of appreciation for Forsett's 1000 yard season.
Forsett also is an entrepreneur, as he is the co-founder of ShowerPill, which markets itself as the "athletic shower wipe". It essentially replaces a shower for those 'on the go' that can't shower down after workouts. Forsett & Co. must be doing something right, as the product has amassed a 4.5 star rating on Amazon with over 100 reviews.
What the public thinks about players' relations with their spouses/partners: recent scandals and incidents have given players a bad reputation as 'wife beaters'. It's sad, and domestic violence is no joke.
What Justin Forsett does: Forsett has been lovingly married to his wife Angela, since 2010. Angela may also be the most athletic Forsett too, as she was an All-American volleyball player, and played for the USA national team. Even more impressive is that Justin admits she has a higher vertical jump than him, at a lofty 36 inches.
What I found even more surpising is that Marshawn Lynch is connected to Angela & Justin, as he was a groomsman at the couple's 2010 wedding. Forsett and Lynch go way back, as the two were roommates and teammates at the University of California, where Lynch taught Forsett how to drive in his freshman year. In turn, Forsett has offered up emotional and religious support to Lynch throughout the years. It's pretty cool to see two running backs with complete opposite onfield demeanors get along off the field.
Finally, Justin is an accomplished musician, in addition to playing the tenor saxaphone and piano, he's also starred in a music video. In 2011, to celebrate their one-year anniversary, he wrote and starred in a music video for a song dedicated to his wife, entitled 'L.O.V.E'. You can watch the video here, which is suprisingly good.
Forsett is very interesting because he's an anomaly, and differs from the status quo. With recent players like Justin Hunter and Greg Hardy giving players' a bad rep, Forsett is a refreshing persona. He remains humble and grounded, despite being a star running back. After all, he isn't far removed from being a journeyman third-string back, like he was just a season ago. I think he sums up his own mentality pretty well.
"Play with purpose and live with purpose. At the end of the day, this is a game. People are going to forget your stats and your touchdowns, so try to go out everyday and live in such a way that people remember your legacy and remember who you are. Affect people in a positive way in your community and in the relationships with your family and coaches that will stand the test of time."
The Ravens are very lucky to have a great player, and a great guy off the field in Forsett. He's a great influence, and I hope his positive influence stays around for years more.