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The ball's still in the air

The Baltimore Sun

Former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Spencer Folau, 33, was born in the Pacific island nation of Tonga and grew up in Redwood City, Calif. After attending the University of Idaho, he joined the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 as a free agent. He played here for five years - the last as part of the team that won the Super Bowl. From Baltimore he went to the Miami Dolphins, and then the New Orleans Saints. Last year, Folau signed with the Washington Redskins, but was released because of injury. He lives in Reisterstown with wife Heather, daughter Hannah, 5 1/2 , and son Ezrah, 3. Of all the places you've lived, you decided to come back to Baltimore. How come?

We bought a house here in 2000, and we just kept it. We'd always come back here every January and February. ... You'd think we'd go someplace warm. Then, we bought a house in New Orleans and that got flooded [by Hurricane Katrina]. [Because we still had the house here] we had someplace to go. Are you and your family going to settle here?

For now. ... I've started a trucking company here with some friends I met at the gym. Then we bought Baltimore Packaging, which is kind of a sister company. ... I like helping out with the kids. Right now, I don't want 9-to-5. I'd like to work on radio part-time. And I've had some offers to go out and coach 11- or 12-year-olds, and high school. What are your dreams?

This was my dream, playing in the NFL, ... but now I'm at a stage figuring out what I want to do next. Right now, it's staying home with my wife and helping her with the kids. She has the toughest job. Is it tough living without a dream now?

Yeah, when I was recovering from surgery last year, it was tough staying at home and watching football on Sunday. Watching guys I knew and played with. It was tough. This year, it's not as tough. Maybe that's because it's another year removed. Or after that year with the Redskins, knowing my body can't take it anymore. This isn't like other professions. It's very unique. Thirty-three is considered old. Any fantasies about stuff you'd like to do someday, like, say, take flying lessons?

Flying, no. I'm not that dangerous. I'm a more conservative guy. I'd like to travel. To go back to the islands. New Zealand, Tahiti, Australia. My wife would like to go back to Greece. She backpacked through there and Italy when she was in college. How does she deal with you being home now?

We try to keep busy ... we try to do stuff together. It's tough at first. When [I was] playing football, she knew what to do each day. She misses it, being around other players and their wives, going to the games. Do you have hobbies?

I'm a very simple guy. I love music. ... I go to the gym every day. I'm trying to work out and lose weight. I don't have to be 305 pounds anymore. You get a little healthier when you lose weight. [I want to lose] 30 to 40 pounds. It's not budging right now. I'm not going through those strenuous workouts, running with the guys. I'm doing it on my own. [I've got to] get my own motivation. ... I like being around my kids. Really. My life revolves around them right now. I play football with my son. I get down on the ground, and he puts his Ravens helmet on. How do you play football with a 3-year-old?

You throw the [mini] football up and he comes and tackles me. One last question. How come you don't wear your Super Bowl ring?

I don't know. ... I'll wear it at events, or a nice dinner with my wife. ... It attracts a lot of attention. Even though I like the attention. ... People come up and say, 'Can I hold it, can I touch it, can I take a picture of it?' It's too big.



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