Guitar Shots to the Head – 10 questions for Fostermom
Kickoff is drawing near, and a Coker-less UT football team is more and more apparent, but if you think that defenses can relax, just remember that Arian Foster may have something to say about that. For all of the defensive coordinators in the SEC I say this. If you see Jimmy Hart walking down the street with a megaphone, you are about to get a guitar across the head. From all accounts Arian is running better than ever before.
Fortunately for the nation, Arian is not the only star in the family. His mom, known affectionately to UT bloggers as “Foster” mom can hold her own at the keyboard. At any given time she can be found in her favorite fan boards intelligently educating other posters about what it is like to have her son play Division I football at the University of Tennessee. Out of the goodness of her heart, Fostermom agreed to answer a few questions to gives us a further glimpse of the realities of having a son playing in the SEC. I hope the Nation enjoys reading this as much as I enjoyed putting the questions together. Clearly, Fostermom is a talent to be reckoned with in the blogosphere. Enjoy!
1. What is one thing that you would like for Vol fans to know about your son?
The one thing I’d like Vol fans to know about Arian is that he loves his family and he is a very funny guy to be around. He’s been our family comedian since he was little and when he gets around his brother and sister, they are like a stand up comedy show.
2. What advice would you give to parents of highly regarded highschool football recruits?
I would tell them to do a lot of research on the school, the athletic program, the academic support, the coaches, the fan base and the city. It’s important to know where you’re sending your son, what kind of environment to expect and how well suited he is to that and what kind of relationship is built with the staff during the recruiting process. It’s also important to know if his athletic ability fits into the type of system that’s used by that particular set of coaches. The main thing I would stress to parents is to keep these kids interested and focused on getting their education in addition to all the other opportunities they may have. Lastly, I would encourage parents to stay as involved as possible with their son through the process and after he gets to the school. Much goes into picking a program. It’s a very big decision.
3. Name some of the qualities that you enjoy the most about UT football?
I enjoy the passion that Tennessee fans have. I love that about UT! I am a fan of the game first and foremost so in our family, sports was a big centerpiece…especially football. UT fans are proud and passionate and intelligent. It’s great to be a part of that. I also love the tradition in Knoxville. I’ll never forget my very first experience at UT, the Vol Walk, seeing Neyland Stadium for the first time…how big it is, the huge orange crowd. It’s the best place to be when football season starts. And no matter how many games I attend, I still get excited each time the band forms the “T” and the guys come running through it.
4. Following your son closely, you have probably learned some of the technical aspects of the running back position. Are you able to watch a game or a replay and give a critique of Arian’s performance?
I’ve been watching football since I was little. My dad taught me all about the game. So I’ve been watching Arian since he was seven years old. His style has not changed other than the adjustments he’s had to make as he grew. I can tell when he’s having a good day or not. I can tell when he’s just getting his “groove” going too. Early on, I was also aware of his pass protection. I used to tease him about it, but I see where it’s become a strong point for him. He’s worked hard to improve that.
5. What has inspired you to be such an active participant of the UT sports boards?
As I’ve said before, I am just as much a fan as anyone else. At first it was just curiosity, but it’s become more. I enjoy the passion of UT fans and I enjoy a good, civil and intelligent debate. But more than anything now, it’s because I want to remind fans of the “human” factor of these players….that they have families and lives and that even though football is very important to them, they have other interests, other goals, other dreams.
6. You are generally very honest and well informed with your posts. What is the most absurd thing that you have read on a UT board, and how did you respond.
Generally people are very nice and actually extremely funny. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laughed out loud at things I’ve read. Every now and then, it’s difficult to read what some people think of Arian’s talent level or abilities when it’s negative, but I try to keep it all in perspective.
7. Do you think that the physical nature of spring practice is helping prepare the team this fall?
Yes, I do. But more than that, there’s a certain cohesiveness about them that I’ve not seen since Arian’s been here. They seem to be on the same page, hungry and ready to win. That’s one of those intangibles that helps win championships and it was evident early this year. I’m excited about this season.
8. Of all of Arian’s accomplishments, which make you the proudest?
Truthfully, I’m more proud of how he’s handled the adversity that he’s faced. I’m proud of the man he’s become. He’s handled himself well in class, on the field and particularly in front of the media. That’s not easy to do, especially in some of the situations he’s been in. Much of that can be attributed to his dad, who has prepared him and his brother for those instances.
But as a parent, it’s good to see your kids grow into the people you’ve always wanted them to be. I’m also grateful that throughout this experience, he has remained grounded.
9. How do you think UT compares to other schools in providing educational support for its athletes?
I work at a University and my department works with student/athletes as well. I’ve seen what happens when athletes fall through the cracks of the educational system. Also, my other son was a student athlete in a track program at another university. Through all those experiences, I’ve seen firsthand how important the support is for these kids and I believe that UT offers the most complete support. It makes me feel good to know that my son has all the tools he needs to be successful in the classroom and I will be very proud when he gets his degree. I think some young men need to take that opportunity more seriously.
10. What is Arian’s biggest challenge for the coming season?
I don’t think it’s a challenge so much as a goal, but he needs to stay as healthy as possible. So much of that is luck. He’s prepared himself physically for the season. He’s worked hard at improving his speed and his strength. He’s worked to improve his arm and forearm strength and his core. He’s worked on footspeed and leg strength. Now he just has to play his game and try to avoid the injuries as much as possible.
That is all for now Nationals. Please take the time to thank Fostermom the next time you see her on the board. She was very gracious with her time. Until next time go Arian, and GO VOLS!