Just days after the Super Bowl, we got some time on the calendar to talk with NFL Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LII Champion, Bryan Braman! Coming off of so much excitement playing a game that he loves while also taking in the moment of a great success, we were impressed by his humble nature and his focus on hard work, having a goal and being a leader that his teammates can connect with.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We know that the last few days have been crazy for you and really appreciate you coming by to chat with us - how has it been knowing that you're a Super Bowl Champion?
BRYAN BRAMAN: It's been crazy and I'm just taking it all in right now!
AM: We have to ask, you have really great hair and the perfect man bun - you have to spill how you take care of it as a number of readers were asking us in preparation of this interview!
BB: I don't really - it just grows. I don't really trim it although recently I just cut the dead ends off. I don't use any special shampoos. I have tried things that people have recommended, but nothing has really stuck. Honestly, most of the time I don't brush it - I just woke up like that and get up and go. I shower, rinse it out real good and then go afterwards.
I actually had an undercut and so all of the sides and the back were a different length and I wasn't able to pull it up. But now it's at a length that I can actually pull it up and it stays for a little bit and then it falls out. Hopefully, those parts will grow out a little bit more. I didn't want to cut them off and the undercut started getting jagged and crooked so I just stuck it out to grow it out.
AM: When did you know that you wanted to play football?
BB: A long time ago - I was probably 6 or 7 years old. I knew I was going to play in the NFL when I was 13.
AM: What was your journey to get to the Eagles?
BB: Starting from me entering the NFL, I played for the Houston Texans for 3 years and my rookie deal was coming to an end and at that time, I was a restrictive free agent so they owned all the rights to me and we just didn't agree on a contract and they ended up releasing me. From there, I was able to get in with Philly back in 2014. So I played with them in '14, '15, '16 and then similar situation, they allowed my contract to expire and from there I took some time off and then the New Orleans Saints called and they let me play for 2 preseason games and they liked me and wanted to bring me back. But due to an injury that I sustained to my shoulder, they didn't feel comfortable bringing me in. Philadelphia ended up calling me a few weeks after that and the rest is history.
AM: That's exciting, we're sure that was stressful when you were in between teams, but then to come back to this team must have been great! The Philadelphia Eagles is our Style Director's second favorite team as she is a major Indianapolis Colts fan since it's her hometown!
BB: Oh really that's cool. How do you feel about Frank Reich (Super Bowl LII Offensive Coordinator for the Eagles who was just hired as the Head Coach for the Indianapolis Colts)?
AM: Really good actually! It was a little weird when Josh McDaniels (Offensive Coordinator and Quaterbacks Coach for the New England Patriots) was announced as the coach for the Colts as it didn't seem to make sense and then of course within hours of the announcement, he decided to stay.
BB: I thought it was strange that they pulled out. That took me by surprise. But Frank's a good guy though, I think he will do well! He'll be really good for the team.
AM: We think so too and we're excited to see what he does.
What do you think it is about your energy that your teammates embrace you so much and that the fans do as well? Many times people know very specific positions and those who are on Special Teams (the position that he plays) are not always as known - what makes you so memorable? Is it your humble nature?
BB: I don't know if it's that or moreso the passion that I play in the game. If you were to ask anybody, "Does Bryan love the game of football?" I'm sure that you would get a yes everytime. I just feel that the passion and the love of the game is something that has really carried me and that you can see that in my play style and the way that I run on the field and the way that I try to hit people, the way that I pace on the sideline - I love it - I love the game.
AM: What are your workouts like in the regular season versus off season?
BB: There's a difference between building strength and maintaining strength. Offseason leading up to the season, I really just use as much of that time as possible to get as strong, as fast and as physical as possible. Then during the season, you just want to maintain that.
The biggest difference more or less, would be the weight, the intensity, the regularity etc. So, lifting everyday in the off season compared to lifting twice a week during the season. Just try to keep that extra off your body, the rehab of making sure that the joints and the muscles are all firing and working properly. Definitely intensity is the biggest difference for regular season and off season.
AM: What was your mental focus like coming into the Championships and then transitioning into playing Super Bowl LII in terms of just having that mindset to prepare for the game?
BB: For me, it was about not making it anything bigger than it actually is.
AM: Wait - so you had no nerves when you walked out? It was just another game for you.
BB: Yeah. I mean you could feel the energy and the biggest thing was that for the amount of time, especially for the Super Bowl, compared to a regular season game, the amount of time you spend pre-game and half time it's all extended. So by the time you're at the end of the game, you're looking at an extra hour and a half of time that's in there that you wouldn't have for a regular game. You can really get burned out during those times with your energy or you peak too high too early or at the wrong time. It can throw your game off so I just remembered that whole time that I kept repeating to myself, "take it easy - take it easy, you've got time - you've got time - you've got time." I just tried to keep as calm as possible. I would think about it, take it all in, look at the stadium, see all the fans and everything that they did with it. It was incredible!
AM: It was such a good game!
So, you're a snappy dresser especially when you're rocking suits. We've checked out your Instagram - what's your personal style and what are your favorite brands?
BB: Thank you - I just have to see it on the hanger. If it's something that I like and I can see it then it doesn't matter about the brand. The fit obviously when I put it on has to be right or I'm not wearing it. I'm not about beauty is pain. I want to be nice and comfortable and I feel like I look my best when I am. I don't really have too many brands but I do like Alberto for jeans. I like G-Star they're pretty savvy for me and I love their jeans. Being a Swedish brand, they have taller lengths that just fits me right as I just can't walk into Macy's and find a pair of Levi's that fit you like that. Shirt wise, I wear a lot of v-necks - H&M Has a lot of the long line tees - TopMan has this as well.
AM: What do you do in your personal time?
BB: I spend time with my girls. I have two daughters. I like firearms so I worked as an armor for a little while and have a nice little collection of rifles and handguns that I like to spend time with. I enjoy the fire range, hunting, hog hunt - I'm an outdoorsy guy. I like to snowboard, fish - anytime outside is something that I like to do quite a bit.
AM: Are you catching any of the Olympics that's going on right now?
BB: So, figure skating has always been my favorite to watch. Back when Scott Hamilton was doing back flips - that's what got me. I mean this guys just did a backflip on iceskates - NO WAY!!! I would be in my living room like, "gymnastics on ice!" It was great and I was hooked ever since. It would just be something that I would do with my mom.
We'd channel surf and see ice skating and watch it together. One of the restaurants we'd go to would have figure skating on and we'd catch it there. This year, I haven't watched it as intently as I'd usually do.
AM: How do you give back in terms of charities and philanthropies that you are apart of?
BB: So I have a pretty interesting story. I feel like sharing that with people and being able to let them know that it doesn't matter how down you feel or out you feel - you have to keep pushing and keep your eye on the prize. Never falter as it's easier to give up than to push forward. But the reward for pushing forward will always be greater then any risk! That's big time!
AM: Knowing your backstory and how you came through this process to be where you are and to be so humble and zen, you never know the turns that will come along but if you manifest your reality - thats what's going to happen!
BB: Predicted destiny - manifest destiny!