This football season, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Eric Zeier will be throwing himself into Literacy Works, a program that helps adults learn to read. He will have the help of teammates Michael Jackson, James Jones, Rob Burnett, Kim Herring, Jamie Sharper, Jonathan Ogden, Peter Boulware and Jim Harbaugh.
Recently, Sun staff intern Ryan Basen asked Zeier about his favorite books and why reading matters to football players.
What is your favorite reading memory from when you were a kid?: Reading Dr. Seuss, "The Cat in the Hat," when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I was very fortunate because my parents helped me a lot with reading. I'm very lucky. [Reading] is the most valuable experience a kid can have.
Did you read other things like newspapers or magazines?: I always read Sports Illustrated and the local newspaper, wherever I was. (Zeier lived in Hiedelberg, Germany, for a time.)
How important is reading to your job?: It's very important for me. Everything the team does is written down. We've got a big playbook with tons of things written in it. Reading is so important to everyone. If you want to see what's going on in the world, you need to read.
What kind of books do you read now?: I'm reading "The Street Lawyer" by John Grisham now. I recently read Tom Clancy's "Executive Orders." Last year I read "The Fountainhead" - well most of it. But then the season started and I didn't have time to finish it.
Why did you decide to devote your time to Literacy Works?: It's a chance for me to give back to the community. I was lucky when I was young. Reading does so much for these kids. Many of them don't have the chance to travel and see other cultures like I did. Reading allows them the chance to go other places and understand what other people and cultures are about. It expands their horizons.
Pub date: 7/29/98