During the offseason, what will we find you doing for fun?
I love to golf. I started my own charity about eight months ago called The Goulden Touch and it has gone very well. I had gotten tired of doing everyone else’s charity work and I wanted to have a legacy that will take me past my career. I love doing it and it’s something I’m passionate about so it’s been unbelievable. We’ve been able to take kids on a shopping spree, have a golf tournament, give money to local charities and help kids with their medical bills. We’ve done a lot of great things!
What is your favorite meal?
I love steak. I grew up in a very country area of central Pennsylvania about a half an hour from Penn State, my neighbors were Amish. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy.
When you’re going out for a nice steak in the city, where are you going?
Gibsons is probably my go-to. Wildfire is great if you want a change up but I think Gibsons is very well-priced. Wildfire would probably be the same type of steak but just a little cheaper price.
Do you watch what you spend?
I grew up in a very middle- to low-income family and we didn’t have a lot of money growing up so my parents cooked a lot and if we went out it was always for special occasions. That mentality and those morals and values that they instilled in me have always stuck with me. I may spend a little bit more money to play a really nice golf course because that is kind of my vice to get away from football but for the most part I am the same guy from when I grew up in Pennsylvania, I just live in a bigger city. I’m lucky to play in the NFL and to go out and do something I always dreamed of doing.
Are you single or seeing anyone?
How did you two meet?
She was actually my waitress at a place that used to be Hi-Tops and is now Harry Caray’s in Wrigleyville. I was out with a bunch of my buddies and she was serving us drinks. There were some girls who were being a little obnoxious and she stepped in and acted like she was my girlfriend. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I asked her to go on a date and at first she didn’t want to go on a date with me but I called and said, “Hey, let me take you to dinner.” I took her to Joe’s Stone Crab then we went for a drink at Hub51. Now I’ll be married in February.
What was the proposal like?
I did a scavenger hunt around the city that included our first dates, where we met and other significant places [from when we were dating]. I got engaged over Easter weekend.
Are you going to start a family soon?
I don’t know what we are going to do. I’d love to have kids, obviously. My schedule is pretty crazy and hectic so when the time is right to have kids we’ll definitely have them but for now we’ll enjoy each other’s company as newlyweds. But at some point in time in the near future I’m sure we’ll have kids. I grew up in a family of three, my brother and sister are both younger than me so I would love to have two or three kids. I’m hoping they are all girls, I would love to have daddy’s girls. I’ll be outnumbered, no doubt about that.
Did you have a role model growing up?
Ironically my role models were my parents.
It doesn’t seem like we’ll be finding you out partying and in the tabloids anytime soon.
Not anytime soon! If we go out it’s always to low key places. We aren’t going to go out and get wild and crazy and get into a bar fight because, quite honestly, I don’t know if I could win. So you aren’t going to see that anytime soon!
If you weren’t playing football, what would you be doing?
That’s a great question. I went to Penn State and graduated with a business management degree. I would love to run a huge corporation at some time. Obviously I’m going to take baby steps. I’m going to play in the NFL as long as they will let me play but I’ve done a pretty good job trying to set myself up for that transition out of football. Whether it’s starting to co-host a radio show on ESPN100 or doing Monday morning call-ins after the games with one of the local radio stations or interning with buddies of mine who own huge companies. I’m the player rep for my team so being able to learn the business end of football and how everything is built and done by the dollar you get a good mentality of what business is like and how to treat people. I’ve learned to understand personalities and some of those things will help me later down the road to get a job.
Do most athletes have a Plan B as well thought out as you do?
Probably not. And to be honest it’s not because they don’t think of it because it is such a short-lived career in the National Football League. They call it the NFL meaning “not for long” because careers in the National Football League average about three years. It’s a very short period of time.
When you’re in the stadium about to kick in front of thousands of people, what is going through your mind?
Absolutely nothing! I don’t get very high-strung about anything, I really don’t. I’m really laid back, I like to have fun. In college I used to be high-strung and it didn’t go so well so I tried to take a different approach because you never know how long you are going to play. I’m very lucky to play for the amount of time I’ve played, this being my eighth year, and to be in a great city with great sports and great fans. I play for one of the most traditional organizations in the NFL and I get to travel all around to play in different cities, you have to enjoy it as most as you can.
What are some of your favorite stadiums to play in when you’re on the road?
I love playing in Tampa Bay and Green Bay. Those are my two favorite places and they are both completely different.
No love for Ford Field in Detroit?
You know what? When we played the Lions last year for Monday Night Football it was one of the best environments. The place was rocking and obviously they hadn’t had a Monday night game there in like 20 years. They are getting better! Our division is very tough so I think it will be rocking a lot more with guys like Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson. I don’t think they are going to be as bad as they used to be back in the day so it will be fun to go there and play this year.
Who is the funniest guy in the locker room?
Anthony Adams used to be our funny guy. He’s got some crazy videos he did that he put on YouTube! Charles Tillman is the class clown I would say, he likes to pull practical jokes.
Oh man, that is tough. I’m going to go with Brandon Marshall for best dressed. I’m a very jeans and sweatshirt type of guy and we’ll go on away trips and he’ll have a full-blown suit on.
When it comes to music, who makes the play list?
Lance Briggs! He’s the locker room DJ.
Besides football, which sports do you like?
I like going to the Blackhawks games. I have a couple of buddies on the team and it’s fun watching your buddies in the same sort of arena and how they interact with the crowd. It’s definitely one of the best sports to go and watch in the city.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
That’s probably one of the toughest questions. There are so many people I’d like to pick!
How about a dinner party, who would you invite?
My fab five? Tiger Woods would definitely be one of them. He is by far one of the greatest athletes of all time. I’d put Michael Jordan at that round table. And Jennifer Aniston.
Is she your celebrity crush?
For sure! I think I would also put Vince Vaughn because you need a comedian at the table. Then the fifth person would be a high school kid that would always dream about being at a table like that. Just to see how they would interact. You can only bring so many celebrities so you need to bring someone to lighten the mentality up a little.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEAL AGUSTIN
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