Friday's edition of The Sun included a Q&A with wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Due to space limitations, some questions and answers were omitted. Here is the rest.
Question: You have never been shy about voicing your belief that you are the best wide receiver. Do you ever worry about saying things that some people might interpret as arrogance?
Answer: People that don't think that, they make me wonder how they feel about themselves. Anybody that says. 'This guy is better than me,' I don't think that. So if I don't think that, why should I say it? That's just me. What kind of self confidence does somebody have where they don't think that? That says something about them moreso than about me. I'm sure Mason and Anquan think they're better than me, and they should. I teach my kids to think they're the best at everything that they do. That's how I raise my kids because I want their self confidence to be as high as it can be. Why would I want it to be any other? Why would I think less of myself? So people that say, 'He's this, he's that,' that, to me, says something about them.
Q: So who instilled self confidence in you?
A: I don't know. I've always been super-competitive. I can call my momma right now, and she would tell you that I always thought I was the best at everything. Dudes that I grew up will tell you, "T.J. always thinks that he's the best at everything." "T.J. will bet that he can jump-rope longer than you.' I've always been like that. I can't change that. I've always been that way. My mother, my uncles, dudes that I grew up with, I've always been like that. I don't know why.
Q: When you were growing up, did you always play football?
A: I played no sports, really. None. Soccer and then football for one year. That's it.Q: So how did you pick up football?
A: I don't know. I just wanted to play it. I loved watching it, I always watched a lot of sports on TV. I don't know. I really can't answer that. I just liked the sport. I like the physicality of it, but I think it was just watching it on TV and saying to myself, "I'm better than that guy." And I was at home. I just wanted to play. I like the physicality of it, the contact, and it's a thinking man's sport – moreso than people think. And I think a lot – contrary to what people might believe.
Q: Did you have a role model in football?
A: No. My favorite players were Deion [Sanders], Michael Irvin because I was a Cowboys fan. But really nobody because I didn't play. So it's hard to say that I aspired to be like him when you're not doing the same things that he's doing.
Q: What's your favorite movie?
A: I have two: Menace II Society and Training Day. The reality of them and how I grew up, I just like them. And I did like Meet the Fockers.
Q: What's your favorite and least-favorite food?
A: Chicken. I could eat it every day. Chicken or tacos, Mexican food. I won't eat chitlins. Never. No chance.
Q: Is there an athlete or entertainer you would pay to see?
A: I pay to watch the basketball players when the season ends. I'm a Lakers fan, so I would pay to watch the Lakers play the Heat, the Celtics. I would pay to watch those guys. I have and I will.