I don’t watch a lot of TV. I watch The Office. There’s a show called Fringe on FOX. I used to watch Entourage, but that just ended. I didn’t like the last episode though. I was told that they’re supposed to make a movie, so I wasn’t too disappointed with it, but if there’s no movie, I feel like the ending was kind of lame. If they don’t make a movie, I’ll be disappointed.
I drive a white 2007 Chevy Tahoe. But in college I drove a ’99 purple Kia Sportage. They called it ‘The Grape.’ The front hood looked like it wanted to lift up at any time when you were driving. But it got me around. And when I got the league, I upgraded to Tahoe. And I’m still driving it.
Jarrett Bush calls me cheap, but that’s only because I call him cheap. I don’t splurge a lot on jewelry and cars and stuff like that. I have my vices. Electronics, clothes – I don’t go crazy, but I guess I am pretty frugal. But I’m not cheap. I tip good, so you can’t call me cheap.
My first couple years, I bought a nice TV and I was buying DVDs every Tuesday at Best Buy. I have keyboard/beat machine. An iPod dock, an iPad … sometimes those things get the best of me. The app I use the most on my iPad is called DV Shuttle. I just use it to watch film. Either that or HBO Go, and then Words with Friends.
I love going to the movies. Haven’t been in awhile, though. I’ll go by myself, no problem. I’ve got no shame in going by myself. I’ve been watching a lot of DVD just because of the flow of the season. The last one I watched was Insidious. It was scary, but it was pretty good. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen anything new or good. I’m a little out of the loop right now.
On my iPod, right now I’m listening to Wale. He’s kind of underrated. His album is pretty good. I like Drake a little bit, but I was kind of disappointed in his album. But I’m a big Ryan Leslie fan. He’s an R&B/hip-hop guy. In today’s world, music is getting so commercial and anybody can make a song or album. We’re getting flooded with crap.
On Twitter, I’m @CharliePeprah. I’m not sure if I’m old school or what, I really don’t do social media a whole lot. It’s not really me. I’m kind of a private person. To Tweet what I’m doing at the time doesn’t really interest me. I don’t really feel I have anything to say. I read more than I Tweet. I go on there and read news or what other people are saying, but I’m not going to Tweet, ‘I’m watching TV with the fellas.’ But I’m trying to get better at it. I know it’s 2011, almost 2012, you have to keep up or get left behind. I don’t really Facebook that much either.
I grew up in Plano, Texas. It’s a suburb of Dallas. It was lot of fun to be able to play in the Super Bowl in front of home crowds like that, a lot of people who supported me growing up. Other than the weather being pretty crappy, I had a great time with it. It was fun to play in familiar surroundings.
I owe so much to my mom. A lot of people know my story, about my grandfather being the head of Ghana and being overthrown in a coup. But my mom, she’s such a strong woman. I don’t want to sound dark when I say this, but a lot of people in her situation with the stress and the way she was spread so thin and getting pulled in so many directions trying to take care of my two brothers and me, and all the stuff she was going through, a lot of people in her position might’ve taken their life. I can easily see that. Or got on drugs, had to take anti-depressants. But she stayed strong. Not knowing that all three of us would get Division I scholarships – my brother Robert to Wyoming, me to Alabama and my brother Josh to Wisconsin, where he’s a redshirt sophomore -- or I would make it to the NFL, the way she stayed strong in the face of adversity, that’s where I get it from. No matter what I’m going through right now, I know there’s going to be better tomorrows.
We don’t really talk much now, but when I was first coming out of college, Deion Sanders did something with my church. My pastor kind of linked us up together, somehow they knew each other and he got in position to tell Deion, ‘I’ve got a kid I’d like you to mentor a little bit.’ So when I came back in town after my senior year, he was kind enough to let me ride with him for a couple days. I got to go eat lunch with him and Michael Irvin, go around with them while they were doing some Christmas shopping. I think the best advice he gave me was always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will. You hear him say that from time to time on TV, and that really stuck with me. If I didn’t believe in myself, I’d have been out of the league so quick. As I got older, I didn’t want to bother him. He’s the type, I have to keep the relationship going, but when I see him, I say what’s up.
My senior year of high school, I worked at Costco. It’s like Sam’s Club. After track practice, I would go to Costco, at first I was inside being a bag boy, and then slowly they moved me outside to get the carts. I guess I was the strongest-looking guy there. So I’m out there in the heat, just racking up carts, and those carts are pretty big. I’m slaving out there in the parking lot, dying in the heat for chump change. That was by far the worst job I ever had.
I can hold my own pretty well in basketball. I’ve got a decent jumper, I can penetrate really well and I play great defense and I’m a great passer. It’s been so long since I’ve been on the court to hoop, though. I’m scared to get hurt. I think my second year in the NFL, I sprained my ankle. So I’ve never done any of those offseason basketball games. I’d like to, though.
My favorite moment as a Packer, other than winning the Super Bowl, would have to be scoring my first defensive touchdown (against San Diego last month). That was a lot of fun. It was poor tackling on their part, great moves on my part. I played running back back in the day. A lot of people don’t know that. I think sometimes people are surprised by what I can do on the football field. Don’t be surprised. I’ve got some moves.
I would say if there’s one word to describe my path to the NFL, it’s persistence. I just say the course, just staying positive. A lot of people get in that situation I’ve been in and they lose confidence in themselves and think, ‘I can’t play in this league.’ I think that’s the biggest reason a lot of people wind up out of the league. I think 7 out of 10 times people get cut, it has nothing to do with ability. Sometimes people let it hurt their confidence and the next thing you know, they’re out of the league. I just said, no matter what happened, stay prepared, just stay persistent. I think that word fits perfectly.
If I were NFL commissioner, I would let guys wear their uniforms however they wanted and not fine them. And I’d let them celebrate – tastefully – however they wanted. I’ve never been fined for a uniform violation. I don’t have the money to be giving back to the league like that. But I’ll wear something for a half and they warn you. I like to keep my money in my pocket.
I’m glad Alabama got a chance at a rematch with LSU. I think they’ll take it this time. That team is full of NFL-ready players. The last time I saw them in person, everybody on that roster, those guys are huge. (Nick) Saban’s doing good things. It’d be good for my alma mater to win a second title in three years. But I go back and forth on the BCS. I feel something needs to be different, I just don’t know what. Maybe a plus-1 system, maybe a playoff, I’m not sure what. I don’t know. There needs to be a tweak. I just can’t tell you what.
I don’t have any out-of-the-ordinary pregame rituals. Just more the order I get ready in – that would have to be a ritual if anything. And then praying in the end zone before a game, after they do the announcements – I always go thank God for my opportunity and for this experience.
My closest friend on the team is Jarrett Bush, obviously, and then Desmond Bishop. Jarrett, we came in at the same time. He got cut Carolina, I got cut by the Giants, and (offensive lineman) Tony Palmer, we all showed up at the same time at the Wingate hotel. We kind of just stuck together. Me and Jarrett bonded ever since. We still talk to Tony every now and then. Bush and I, we were kind of looking out for each other. Then Bishop came and we became friends, too. We let him in.
When my career is over, I hope people say, ‘Man, Charlie Peprah could really play ball. He was a good football player.’