Foster's Vegan Announcement Adds to Texans' Quirkiness

We've all known Arian Foster to be a rather unique guy. He's a bit of a philosopher and poet. He tweets about eastern religion and plays random pickup basketball games with fellow Houstonians. Then, on Thursday, there was the above Tweet announcing he'd gone vegan. He's even trying to persuade offensive tackle Duane Brown to join him.

Some praised his decision, while others worried about his ability to play football without steak -- Hakeem Olajuwon played some of the best playoff basketball ever without eating or drinking anything during the day as part of his religious faith, so I'm guessing Foster will survive -- including a retort from someone known as "TeaBagn&ThroatGagn." Okay.

But what this underscores is how unique this particular group of young Texan players is. Connor Barwin has become a regular fixture on the Houston music scene, even covering Summerfest for us here at the Press. I saw him in a dashiki and cropped pants at a concert at Discovery Green a few weeks ago myself.

On the field, guys like Brian Cushing get bloody noses from head-butting opposing players without a helmet. Last year, one linebacker even tackled a guy on a kickoff return head first after losing his helmet. This is all without mentioning the post-sack, ninja-like antics of Antonio Smith.

Even the coaching staff has their moments. Wade Phillips showed up at a local sports radio remote and agreed to get a fade haircut if the team wins a title.

But all the oddities serve to only endear fans to the team more than they already have with their play on the field last year, which is a reminder to teams that fans love characters assuming they aren't of the girlfriend-beating, drug-using variety. Some of the great players in NFL (and any other sport) history were fascinating on and off the field and it created a mystique around them that was beloved by avid followers of the game.

Another...cough cough...local pro sports team...cough cough...who plays at Toyota Center...cough cough...could learn a lesson from this, but I digress.

Regardless of how you feel about Foster's decision to give up meat and dairy, you gotta love a guy who is that open with fans and that interesting to follow.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke