Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is one of the best in the NFL. In October 2014 he became the team's all-time leading rusher, and he has helped the Chiefs return to elite status in the AFC. He entered 2015 with high hopes — but those were dashed when he tore his ACL against the Bears on October 11. (He suffered the same injury in 2011.)
As Charles supports his team from the sidelines and looks forward to recovery, he's had time for another passion: video games. Last weekend, he traveled to San Francisco to attend Sony's PlayStation Experience and show off his skills with the game Destiny.
Kid Reporter Manat Kaur spoke with Charles during the event about his love of video games, rehabbing his injury, and what kind of career he'd have if he weren't playing football.
You are a big gamer. Tell me about the PlayStation Experience Event and why you are here?
Destiny has a new game called Sparrow Racing. It is going live on Tuesday. It is a pretty fun game. Today, I got the chance to play the game. I think that this PlayStation event is the place to be.
I know you like playing Madden on PlayStation. What do you think about games on consoles versus games on mobile devices?
It is pretty cool using a wireless controller. It feels more real. I can control anything on the wireless controller. I have always liked controlling things with my hands. If I am touching things, it makes them feel more real. I would rather play in real life, though. When you play on a video game, you can be anybody. You could be a superhero. When you are out on the field, you have to be you.
How do you think that your torn ACL is affecting your team? What are they doing well, what are they struggling with?
Nah, I think that injuries happen every year. This makes them kind of buck up. They are doing everything well. They are playing as a family or one unit.
Do you think rehab was easier the first time you tore your ACL or now? Why?
It is easier to do it this time. I am focusing on getting stronger legs. I get to focus on becoming strong. I get to be with my family and friends during this time.
What are the harder things about rehab? What do you plan to focus the most on during rehab?
I can focus getting both of my legs strong. I love going to rehab. I can get both knees stronger since I have torn both of my ACLs. I can also motivate and inspire kids. Like, “If Jamaal can do it, why can’t I” type of thing.
You love music and exercise. What do you think is special about combining them? How does it affect your playing ability?
Music is the way for anybody. Listening to music makes everyone feel better. People love to dance. Listening to techno, R&B, Pop etcetera.
What type of music do you like to listen to while working out? Why?
I like all types of music. R&B, rap, pop. I am free spirited.
Did you ever want to have a career in music or technology? What makes these things special for you?
I think technology is the future. If anybody knows the future, it is in all of these gadgets. The world is all about the gadgets now.
You have called yourself the LeBron James of football. Can you talk about that?
He is the best in the world for what he does, and I feel like I am the best in the world at what I do.
Everyone had written off Chiefs after you got injured, but they are on a 5-0 streak. What do you think they need to do to keep on doing well?
I think they need to keep playing together as a family, with motivation, and excitement. I know what they can do.
Photos: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Activision (video game), John Grieshop/Getty Images (action)