and learned a little about his off-the-field life. Never known for his shortage of words, Brown talked about what he does in his free time, his family's involvement in the civil rights movement, and shared memories of his brother, who was killed in Iraq.
BR.com: How do you view your role as the center of the offensive line?
"They say the quarterback is the general of the offense out there, so I guess you'd call me the colonel for the offensive line."
What's the most satisfying thing to have happen on the field?
"Dominating your opponent. It simply comes down to that. You're not going to win every single game, but you have to find comfort in the individual battles that you face with your opponents. So dominating your opponent and earning the respect of your opponent is very gratifying."
What's your favorite way to spend time away from the game?
"I call my wife who goes to dental school in North Carolina and spend a lot of time talking to her. I might look at a few shows I have on TiVo, or I'll get online and start researching something I'm interested in. I'll ask myself a question I might not know the answer to, so I'll do research on it. Or you can always find some entertaining videos on YouTube. I'm a YouTube-ian."
What type of things do you research?
"My childhood dreams. I always wanted to buy a yacht. I love to fish. Where I grew up, I've always fished from the bank or from the dock, something like that. Hopefully my wife will let me buy a boat within the next couple of years, so I've definitely been doing a lot of research on the different models and engines. Also, it's something that I can use to fish, but it'll also be family friendly. I don't want to be selfish. If I have my family on the boat, I want them to be comfortable, as well."
If you could witness one historical era, what would you choose?
"One that touches close to my family is the civil rights movement when they were trying to integrate schools. My father and his side of the family were the first to participate in the desegregation of schools in the state of North Carolina. That was a huge battle for them to go through because there was a lot of racial tension and threats on their family. My father went through it and survived a lot of adversity at such a young age. There was a plot to blow up my grandparents' home when my father was a child. My father was shot in the side with a shotgun when he was 12 or 13 years old by a white kid that was 16 years old, and nothing ever happened. There was just hatred simply because my grandfather wanted his children to have better opportunities and better education in their lifetime."
Who do you most look up to?
"My parents. It can't just be one of them. It has to be both of them. They're entrepreneurs. They had the courage to start their own businesses. Both of them have a tremendous work ethic, and that's where I pattern a lot of my work ethic after, just being a go-getter and not taking anything in life for granted."
If you could sit down to dinner with three people from any point in history, who would you choose?
"Jesus Christ, that's the first one. Second would have to be my grandfather, Jasper Brown, for the struggles he's gone through and things he's accomplished in his life helping desegregate the schools in North Carolina. Then it would have to be my brother, Lunsford. I would love to talk to my brother again. He was killed in Iraq on September 20, 2003."
What are some memories of your brother?
"Just last week, I watched tapes of his wedding and of his funeral service, which I attended back in 2003. I hadn't seen any of those since those dates. It was definitely tough. But also seeing the sacrifice that he made and the legacy that he's left behind and then seeing all of the people whose life he touched means a lot. Then I saw the film of his wedding. I stayed up to watch both of those. I stayed up until 1 o'clock. Stuff like that, you realize how short and precious life is. It definitely helps put things in perspective."