Playing football at the NFL level has to be one of the most stressful jobs in the world.
Evidently, it wasn't too stressful for former Redskins center Jeff Bostic though.
On Monday, Bostic joined Cooley & Kevin on ESPN 980 and was asked if he ever got nervous before any of the 202 games [184 regular season, 18 postseason] he played in for Washington.
With the exception of two big games, the three-time Super Bowl champion said he was pretty laid back before he took the field for the contests.
"I was on the other end of the scale," Bostic said. "I was nervous maybe my first Super Bowl [XVII], and our last one [Super Bowl XXVI], and I loved reading the Gameday Magazines. I'd see stories, and read them, and read them, and flip through and see all the stuff in there. They put them in your locker, and you go get taped, and you lay around in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and you're reading the stories just laying on your back, relaxing and going over the game plan in your mind."
Bostic was so cool about his job, that he let the coolness overtake him before one of the biggest games of his career.
"I was reading this magazine, and then I fell asleep before the Super Bowl, and I finally felt someone tugging on my arm and it was [former Redskins offensive lineman] Raleigh McKenzie," Bostic said. "He said, 'You might want to wake up, we got to go out in 20 minutes for the Super Bowl.'"
Outside of players working hard and perfecting their craft, everything else is pretty much laid out for them on a minute-by-minute basis, which helps them get into a groove and a routine once the regular season hits.
That structure is what helped Bostic be so successful in the 14 years he was with the Redskins.
"Football players are creatures of habit," Bostic said. "We like playing on Sunday and kicking off at 1 o'clock. You go to visiting cities at Philadelphia, you go to St. Louis, you go to Dallas, and you go to New York and you always stay in the same hotels so you became creatures of habit and, if you played as long as I did most of the visiting hotels knew you on a first name basis. Being offensive linemen, we try to minimize the amount of energy we use before it actually counts. We were so heavy that we only had so many steps in a day and we would try to conserve it."
Bostic was fortunate to be led, for the majority of his career, by Hall-of-Fame head coach Joe Gibbs. Gibbs has always been known for being a humble, even-keeled man. Bostic says the players would constantly try to mock Gibbs because he would use certain phrases over and over again in the locker room, practices and games. It would never faze Gibbs, though, because he would never come out of character.
"He is such a straight guy," Bostic said. "Joe would say, instead of 'we're going to kick their butt,' he'd say 'we're going to go kick their buns.' I'm thinking how do we get motivated trying to go kick somebody's 'buns?' And if somebody got really mad that was a 'case of the reds.' You had to figure out what Joe was talking about, but after you sat through the meeting, like I was there with him for 12 years and he would tell the same stories, and would keep telling the same stories every year. It's almost like he thinks the team turned over completely after one year to the next, but I love Joe Gibbs. Joe Gibbs is the real deal. Joe Gibbs was the most intelligent offensive mind in the NFL."