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Ask Wale: Dealing with hostile fans, best teammates ever, and why No. 93?

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Adewale Ogunleye

I play defensive end for the Chicago Bears.

ASK WALE
E-mail me here. I will be answering your questions about the Bears and life in the NFL every week on my blog.

Big win, Adewale! Congrats. My question is concerning team shenanigans. Who plays the most pranks on road trips and who is usually the unsuspecting victim? Also, from a defensive lineman's standpoint, do you prefer playing on fake or real turf (and is Soldier Field's turf really that bad??) Thanks! Welcome Stafford to the NFL on Sunday, courtesy of Chicago! - Steve Contorno

WALE SAYS: Steve, road trips are all business. We get on those planes dressed in suits. No games here. I love good solid grass to play on. At the end of the day doesn't matter what we play on. I have to get the QB.


Dear Wale, thank you so much for keeping up this blog, it's actually better than an autograph. Most of us that play sports have some reason why we choose our number on the jersey. Why did you choose 93? - Andrew Molina, Los Angeles, CA

WALE SAYS: I choose #93 because that was the number given to me upon my arrival to Indiana University. Once I signed with the Miami Dolphins they gave me #90. The great Trace Armstrong had #93. He left the next year and I asked to change to my college number. And the rest is history.


Hi Wale, as a lifelong Bears fan, I had never lived outside of Chicago until I moved to the Boston area over the summer. The fans here are pretty crazy and seem to know their football. My question is do you have a favorite sports city besides Chicago? BEAR DOWN! - Beau Brace, Medford, MA

WALE SAYS: Great question. When it comes to sports, Chicago is as good as it gets. But since you want me to omit Chicago from this answer, I would have to go with my hometown New York City. They have 2 football teams, 3 hockey teams, 3 basketball teams(including woman's) and very loyal fans.


Wale, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I and most Bear fans appreciate you and other players taking some time out to talk about the Bears. I have lived and breathed Bears football since I was a little kid. I still remember the first time that I watched a game over 25yrs ago. Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Dent, Hampton, Wilson, Fencik etc.

I was excited when we traded for you even though we were giving up Marty Booker. There are times that you are simply one of the most dominate DE's in the game. I hope that things work out and you end your career playing for the Bears.

I wanted to ask you who are the 5 best defensive players you have ever played with college/pro who are not Chicago Bears? Thanks for your time. - Scott Neff

WALE SAYS: Hey Scott, another great question. I've only played with the Bears and the Dolphins and since you said "besides the Bears" that limits me. But the best five in random order would be....... Zach Thomas, Mike Brown, Jason Taylor, Tim Bowens, and Patrick Surtain.


Hello Adewale, thanks for adding to a great defense this year. Please know that as a fan watching in Florida, the fans frustration is not with the team, yet the play calling.

We have the best Defense in the NFL, there is NO booing! And now having one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for the first time, fans were frustrated at the play calling of Ron Turner. How many years have we seen bad play calling from upstairs. And if you noticed in the Steelers game the boo's came from a 3rd and long call to run the ball. Let Jay loose, we have faith!!!

Okay now off my venting. Thanks to you, Peanut, and the rest of the defense we pulled off the Steeler game. So my question is how do you keep up the motivation going forward into the 4th Quarter especially in hostile environments like Green Bay and Minnesota? Thanks and GO BEARS!!! - Laurie Lamphear

WALE SAYS: Thank you for that perspective. Now to your question. Its easy to stay motivated when you keep the big picture in your mind. We've practiced too hard and spent to much time working to ever give up. Also, great defenses should never feel pressure. WE APPLY PRESSURE.

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1 Comment

IrishSweetness said:

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No pranks ? No fun. All serious ? No one has Walter Payton's spirit in the Bears' locker room. C'mon, it's just a game. And if Walter could find fun in football, that's a lesson for everyone ...

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