A Day in the Life of a Locked-Out NFL Family Man

by Ryan Clark

Today was a beautiful day! I started out by getting out of bed and enjoying an amazing breakfast with Yonka, my wife. From the bedroom, I could hear her hustling my wonderful yet challenging kids off to school. The best part about this is, that’s exactly what I’d do whether we were locked out or not.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark says he's enjoying his family but missing his teammates.
Steelers players such as Ryan Clark have been finding ways to pass the time without their teammates during the lockout. Kevin A. Koski

It was unseasonably warm for a Pittsburgh morning, so the walk to the car was pleasant. Now it was time for my long drive to work out. The Steelers’ southside practice facility is only eight minutes away, but oh wait. “Can’t sit there.” (I feel like Forrest Gump!) After a drive that seemingly took ages, I found myself seeing double: My teammate Maurkice Pouncey and his twin brother Mike, training with one another. A very intimidating sight for a 195-pound safety that left college when these guys were in sixth grade! We traded jabs and jokes over weights and workout bands. After that hour and half of good fun, I was back in the car to enjoy the Pittsburgh scenery.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark
Ryan Clark gives ProPlayerInsiders a look at a day in his life during the NFL lockout. Kevin A. Koski

Of course, the wife had me running errands, so I was off to the mall and off to grab her food. Then I got home and had to run to the store. After all of the little runs, it was time to pick-up my kids. Tedious, yes, but it was all so worth it because I was handsomely rewarded with homemade Sloppy Joes! Gourmet, I know. It was a typical Clark night. Girls getting their hair done, dinner, homework and Howard the Duck!

I know this isn’t exciting, but it’s my life. I’m a regular, God-fearing man, with an amazing family and great responsibility See, I can’t ignore or “lock out” the rest of my duties because the NFL owners have decided to ban me and my friends from their facilities. We aren’t super human. We are men that are blessed to do what we do. We cherish every moment we spend with one another. My wife and children are my family but so are my teammates, and I can’t wait to put my family back together.

Ryan Clark is a nine-year NFL veteran who has played the past five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has played in two Super Bowls and was a member of the Steelers’ Super Bowl XLIII championship team. Each week, a different player will contribute a column for ProPlayerInsiders.com.

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