Editor's note: This is an extended version of an interview that appears in the Dec. 24 issue of ESPN The Magazine. Subscribe today!
A native of Los Angeles, Steve Smith was drafted in 2001 by the Carolina Panthers and recorded the most combined receiving and return yards of any NFL rookie in '01 (1,994).
Now in his 12th year in the league -- all with the same team -- Steve Smith is one yard away from yet another 1,000-yard season. The Panthers visit San Diego to play the Chargers on Sunday.
What is the biggest misconception about you?
That I’m not a nice guy.
What was the craziest Halloween costume you ever wore?
I was a patient wearing an open hospital gown -- butt out.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream. Rocky Road.
What is your most irrational fear?
Breaking my knee.
If you could go to dinner with one person, dead or alive, whom would it be?
Nelson Mandela. He was persecuted, and he was pushed to do a lot of things most people wouldn’t have been able to handle. But he had true forgiveness.
What is the most embarrassing music you listen to?
Country music. Brad Paisley.
Who would play you in your biopic?
I want to say Denzel, but he’s too dark-skinned. How about Shemar Moore? The soap-opera actor.
What place in the world do you most want to visit?
I want to ski in Switzerland.
What is your hidden talent?
I sing R&B in the bathroom. When I echo off the bathroom walls, it sounds good.
What is your most prized possession?
My [signed] Joe Montana football. Personalized to me.
What was your most unrealistic New Year’s resolution?
To have a 12-pack.