It’s no secret: One of America’s pastimes is watching television.
There’s no shame in it. We all do it. The biggest differences between us all basically boil down to which channels we watch and how long we’ll leave the television on before we become bored.
With few, if any exceptions to that general guideline, then it becomes only a matter of logic to conclude that some of the best-known names in the NFL will occasionally turn the TV on to unwind.
What do these stars watch when they take a few hours to relax? What channel’s offerings take up the most space on their DVRs?
Let’s take a look into the minds of nine star NFL players to try to imagine what they do during their down time.
Peyton Manning hasn't been placed on injured reserve yet, which makes him fair game for this article as a player.
Since he can't practice on the field right now as he recovers from multiple neck surgeries, Manning figures that he must keep himself sharp somehow.
Aside from spending time on the field as a pseudo-coach for his teammates, what else can he do to keep his mind in the game?
Clearly, he must drink in as much football as possible. What better place to do that than the NFL Network?
Short of picking up a game of Madden, the NFL Network is the biggest and most reliable dose of football that Manning can possibly get outside of living in the team’s film room.
Aside from that whole murder investigation business in 2000, Ray Lewis has proved himself over the years to be a really great guy.
Sure, he cultivates a tough-guy reputation, but it’s all an act. In real life, Lewis is a giving man both in terms of his time and his money.
So what would he watch on television?
Given his personality, it seems most likely that Lewis would be interested in CBS. His darker side (or at least the side that got to experience a real police investigation) likely revels in the juicy crime dramas, while his lighter side is entertained by comedies such as The Big Bang Theory.
Troy Polamalu is more than just a great head of hair thanks to Head and Shoulders.
Indeed, he is also somewhat of a scholar of early religion and a devout Orthodox Christian himself.
Given his deep interest in both history and religion, it stands to reason that he will greatly enjoy the programming on TBN or Trinity Broadcast Network.
There’s also the added bonus that the network broadcasts family-friendly television, which makes it an ideal choice for the whole family.
Julius Peppers leads a busy life between his superstar status in the NFL and his active role in bettering the world for African-American students during the offseason. There is much about him that is admirable.
When Peppers comes home, then, what TV station does he turn to when he had a few moments to himself?
Why, BRAVO of course.
With its array of fluffy programming topics (including fashion, food, and matchmaking), it’s a great way to unwind without requiring too much mental energy. Best of all, the shallow programming leaves Peppers’ mind free to really mull over his upcoming game or his next charitable endeavor.
Larry Fitzgerald doesn't just have a killer smile and a great football presence.
He also has formidable intelligence.
It's not hard to imagine Fitzgerald taking his time over breakfast each morning as he soaks in the daily news.
Picture it: He’s got the Wall Street Journal in one hand, his coffee in the other and a BBC news broadcast droning in the background.
After graduating from Harvard University, Ryan Fitzpatrick probably needs some mental stimulation to complement his reps on the football field.
What better place to turn to than the Discovery Channel?
With its wide array of entertaining, yet educational programming, Fitzpatrick can lose himself in entertainment that is also a little bit good for him.
Let’s all be honest with ourselves: When Tom Brady isn’t thinking football, he probably has a softer side that needs to be acknowledged.
Heck, it’s so obvious that there’s a softer side to Brady that the NFL has developed all kinds of womanly rules especially for his sake—the Skirt Rule, the Tuck Rule and others.
Add in the hippie look that the quarterback rocked for years, and you've got a man who's in touch with his feminine side.
What better to kick back and relax with than a few hours of the programming on Lifetime?
Brian Urlacher is one of those guys who I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.
It’s not that he’s a scary or terrible person in real life. It’s just that he kind of plays one on TV.
That “don’t-mess-with-this” persona isn’t something he can turn on and off; it’s got to be something that he cultivates all the time. That’s why Urlacher is likely to spend some of his free time watching SPIKE TV.
That channel prides itself on being all testosterone all the time, which probably suits Urlacher just fine.
Aaron Rodgers, last year’s Super Bowl MVP quarterback has staked his reputation on putting on an imaginary championship belt. Where else would he have come up with that move (or that moustache…) than by watching WWE wrestling?
Imagine, for a moment, a routine boys’ night in with teammate Clay Matthews so that both can keep up with the latest in the wrestling world.
Yep, I can see it.
You can bet that watching pro wrestling on television is one of Rodgers’ guilty pleasures, and it's shared with other members of his team.