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Behind the Facemask: Sean Weatherspoon


Frank Kleha:** Where do you get your gregarious, outgoing personality?

Sean Weatherspoon: I think that comes from my mom (Elwanda). My dad's a little bit more quiet and reserved. My mom, if you listen, she will talk. And I'm pretty much the same way. I also grew up as the baby in the house out of four with two older brothers and a sister, so I had to be able to speak up for myself.

FK: Where does your affinity for music come from?

SW: I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church where I sang in the choir every second Sunday as a kid. It's a form of worship and it's something that's always been with me since I was a kid. I was about nine years old when I started (in the choir) and it went all the way up until I went to college. When I would come back home from college (on breaks) they would ask me to sing, too.

FK: How did you become the 'designated DJ' in the locker room?

SW: I tend to like to set the mood in the locker room with music. I think guys like to hear something when they are at work so any time we get a break we play some good jams over in D-Block.

FK: Are you the best singer on the team?

SW: I don't know. I think I have a good voice. When I was a kid I just wanted to sing and play football, then I had to make a decision.  Once I turned 13 and I started playing organized football for my school I went in a different direction. OK, I will say that… I am the best singer in our locker room. I'm ready for anybody that wants to challenge me.

FK: Sounds like you had aspirations to be a singer?

SW: When I was a kid I thought I had a chance to do something special. I had a good voice but I didn't stick with it and get a vocal coach or anything like that. So that kind of put me behind the eight ball. I actually have a recording studio in my house where sometimes I have some fun and make some music.

FK: Have you had some of your teammates over to your studio?

SW: Sometimes I make some music with Willy Mo (William Moore), my brother and some other friends from college. We just have a good time, record stuff and look back on it and laugh about it. It's just a makeshift studio, nothing big, but you can get a good sound (out of it).

FK: What did you actually want to be growing up?

SW: I wanted to be an entertainer. I like to crack jokes. I can dance a little bit and sing. That might have been my calling had it not been for football. My mom was a teacher and I've always had a soft spot for kids so I could also see myself being a high school football coach.

FK: Is there any entertainer you grew up watching that influenced you?

SW: I would have to say Eddie Murphy. Watching Eddie Murphy as a kid and seeing how talented he was. He could sing or act and he could dance. He had the total package. He was one of the guys I looked up to in that aspect and also Jamie Foxx.

FK: Favorite concert you've ever seen?

SW: The J. Cole concert at the Fox Theatre this year. He just released his second album and he's one of my favorite artists.

FK: What's your most embarrassing moment as a kid?

SW: We were playing in a district basketball game on the road when I was 17 and we were warming up.  I went up to dunk but my sweats were a little long and I slipped on them and was decked out on the floor. That hostile crowd gave me a lot of crap. We ended up winning the game but falling in front of so many people when I was trying to dunk was pretty rough.

FK: What's your guilty pleasure?

SW: Gushers. I love strawberry, but I will eat any kind of Gushers. They have to be from Sam's Club or Costco because they've got the big boxes. It's pretty much an everyday thing and I don't like to share them with anyone.

FK: Celebrity crush growing up?

SW: Jada Pinkett. But nowadays it's Scarlett Johansson… ScarJo. Every time she's in a movie I have to go see it.

FK: What's one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

SW: That my first name is Franklin. My actual name is Franklin De'Sean Weatherspoon. Nobody ever called me Franklin except people from home so it never stuck. It was my grandfather's name. And I think it's a presidential name too… Franklin D. Weatherspoon (smiling).

FK: Any gameday superstitions?

SW: When I'm out on the field doing my early warmups everything has to be done the same. I do it in the same exact order. Everything from left to right is exactly the same. Also, Danny Long (our assistant trainer) has to tape my right ankle first every time. He tapes most players ankles left first, but I have to tell him every time mine is the right ankle first.

FK: If you could sit down with any four people in history for dinner who would it be?

SW: Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Dick "Night Train" Lane and Maya Angelou.

FK: Why Maya Angelou?

SW: She's one of the best poets and authors out there. I've just really liked her work. One of her books, 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', is one of the best books I've read.   

FK: Any fictional character you wish was real?

SW: I wish Dopey (from Snow White) was real.  My nephew loves Dopey so a few years ago I bought him a Dopey doll. I actually had to buy two because they were a package off of EBay and I kept one. I like Dopey. If he was alive I know he would be just chillin', just hangin' out and real laid back.

FK: What are three things on your Bucket List?

SW: Go to Europe. I just want to backpack around Europe and see all the great places and the history.  I would love to go parasailing. The last is to be a great father when my time comes.

FK: What's the best piece of advice you would give someone?

SW: There was a quote that was given to me, 'If it is to be, it is up to me'. It helps me take the initiative in things. That's something I always think about. If we are out on the field and someone has to make a play, I always try to take the initiative first.

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