Ravens Q&A: Chester is a focused, thoughtful lineman

Sun reporter Kevin Van Valkenburg talks with Ravens right guard Chris Chester

December 07, 2010|By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun

Each week we bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player or coach. This week's guest is right guard Chris Chester, a second round pick in the 2006 draft out of Oklahoma who arrived at college a 220-pound tight end — a position he has played with the Ravens, too — but is now a fixture on the offensive line. He's also a laid back Californian who yearns for the beach, listens to Sublime before games and turns to the Bible for inspiration.

QUESTION: Who is the most influential person in your life?

ANSWER: Of all time, it would have to be Jesus. At the very least, he teaches you how to live, and in my opinion, he's one of the greatest human rights figures of all time.

Q: Any specific New Testament passage that has meant a lot to you?

A: Philippians 4:4 — "Rejoice in the Lord Always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" It's about being confident, and rejoicing no matter what's going on in your world.

Q: You're a pretty big reader. Other than the Bible, what are some books that you've enjoyed recently that you'd recommend to people?

A: I'll give you a couple. I just finished "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. Another great one is "Hot, Flat and Crowded" by Thomas Friedman. It's about globalization and how we interact with the environment and how it all corresponds around the world. I really enjoyed "The Audacity Of Hope" by Barack Obama. I'm currently reading "All The Devils Are Here" by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, which is about the financial crisis and the hidden causes. I'm just trying to make myself well-rounded.

Q: If you weren't playing football, what do you think you'd be doing?

A: I enjoy problem solving and things of that nature, so I think I'd like to be involved in business in one way or another. Real estate is one that jumps out at me right away, even though it's pretty volatile right now. Also venture capitalist and things like that. I like the idea of taking an idea and running with it, and hopefully doing something positive with it.

Q: Marshal Yanda says that when you guys ride to the stadium together before every home game, you always want to put Sublime on the stereo of his SUV. What makes Sublime your go-to band?

A: Yeah, Yanda likes to get a little more amped up before the game than I do. Where as I try to stay a little more even keel. But I think that's why we've been successful on the right side. We kind of balance each other out. He brings that passion, and I like to think I bring that focus. Sublime is kind of what I listened to growing up and going through high school. It probably has a little to do with nostalgia. It reminds me of being on the beach somewhere in California.

Q: What's your favorite thing about California?

A: I would have to say the diversity of the people. There are just all kinds of people and cultures. It's almost an international hub, and you can have a lot of different experiences.

Q: You follow politics and current evens pretty closely. What medium do you use to get a lot of your information? Newspapers? Television? The Internet?

A: Generally MSNBC. I like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow a lot. Those are the kind of shows I watch when I feel like I need a breather from football and want to see some real world stuff. When I come home, I don't really want to think too much. Those are probably my favorites.

Q: What did you think about Olbermann getting suspended briefly for donating money to political campaigns?

A: Yeah, it's tough. I don't want to feel negatively toward him. I understand what he did. He has an obligation to stay neutral, but I don't think anybody actually stays neutral in the media anyway. I don't know if he was really out of line.

Q: Could you ever see yourself being involved in politics?

A: No, probably not. As important as it is, and as much of an impact as politicians can make, right now there is a lot of rhetoric and static that makes it hard to tell the truth. Even if a politician is genuine, I think a lot of it gets lost in the polarization of politics in general. Especially the way the media covers it.

Q: Way back in the day, you were a tight end [at Oklahoma]. Do you ever get in Cam Cameron's ear and try to convince him to install a few guard or tackle eligible plays?

A: Well, you know there is always a possibility of a fake field goal. But I've kind of let that dream go, I think. But I'm sure there is something in there for me. If I'm here long enough, he'll put something together that lets me catch the ball. Because I will catch it.

Kevin.vanvalkenburg@baltsun.com

twitter.com/KVanValkenburg

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