Beyond the Boxscore

Arian Foster makes Segways cool? Sick back creates national TV buzz as he gears up for Da Bears

Arian Foster makes Segways cool? Sick back creates national TV buzz as he gears up for Da Bears

Arian Foster Bills
Arian Foster is all about showing up for work and carrying his team. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Arian Foster Bills sideline
Arian Foster had six runs of 10-plus yards against the Buffalo Bills. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Justin Forsett
Backup tailback Justin Forsett knows that the Texans go as Arian Foster goes. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Arian Foster Bills
Arian Foster Bills sideline
Justin Forsett

Arian Foster whizzing down the concrete corridors of Reliant Stadium on his Segway (and often right through the carpeted locker room too — hey, it's supposed to be all-terrain) is a pretty common sight for anyone who's regularly around the Houston Texans.

CultureMap first wrote about it back on Sept. 17.

But like most things that Foster does, it becomes unusual when put in the larger context of the NFL and professional sports in general (namely that many athletes strive to be spectacularly uninteresting).

Foster cannot help but be compelling. So now the Segway's become part of his story — just like his decision to go vegan. Foster insists there is sound reasoning behind his Segway use (he wants to save his legs as much as possible). Still CBS featured the running back's preferred mode of work transport during its regional broadcast of the Texans' 21-9 win over the Buffalo Bills in an anything but serious manner.

 "Unless I can't run, I am going to run," Foster says.  

Can you blame them? Dan Fouts — the game's analyst — even got on the Segway and took it for a spin.

The old quarterback is not as fast as Foster on the machine. Then again, few can equal Foster's speed on any surface — or device. Just ask the Bills, who are 3-5 this morning in no small part because they couldn't stop Foster from making plays both big and small.

Foster ripped off six runs of 10 yards or more, including three in the first quarter that spooked an already shaky Buffalo defense and set the stage for much of what was to come. If you don't think Foster's final line is all that impressive — 111 yards and a touchdown on a very workmanlike 24 carries — you've been spoiled by watching No. 23 ply his craft.

"Best back in football," left tackle Duane Brown says. "A lot of what we got in the passing game was set up by what Arian did on the ground. He made them cheat in (closer to the line of scrimmage)."

On a day when Ben Tate (remember when he used to be thought of as the best complementary tailback in the league) missed another game due to injury, Foster fought through the flu to make sure the Texans offense churned on.

 Football isn't a fantasy land for Arian Foster. It's his job. And you'd better believe, he's going to punch in for work. 

Growing up in a family that struggles to get by (Foster will always remember the day his mother pawned her wedding ring to put food on the table) makes a conscientious man realize the value of hard work. Football isn't a fantasy land for Arian Foster. It's his job.

And you'd better believe, he's going to punch in for work.

"Hey, I'm fine," Foster assured Texans coach Gary Kubiak when he showed up early Sunday morning at the stadium. Then, he went to get some fluids in an IV.

"I think he really had to push himself," Kubiak says.

Running Back Philosophy

Foster pushed the Texans to 7-1 at the team's regular season halfway mark on a day when he spent part of the pregame throwing up. Foster isn't going to make too big of a deal out of it though. He's not Michael Jordan trying to dramatize a Flu Game with a bevy of publicists and image consultants ready to push the narrative. He'll move onto the Sunday Night Football showdown against the Bears (a matchup of 7-1 teams that figures to turn Bob Costas' eyes to Foster).

No matter. No. 23 sees himself as just another guy going to work sick.

"Unless I can't run, I am going to run," Foster says.

 And people think Yogi Berra is a good sports philosopher?

Of course, Foster is not just a regular guy. Regular running backs cannot just show up and carry an NFL team (especially not in this age of specialization and passing fever when the workhorse running back is supposed to be extinct). Regular guys don't zip around on Segways either for that matter.

"I don't know about that thing," Brown says.

If anyone can make a Segway look cool it's Arian Foster. There he is, wheeling in and out of the picture as CSN Houston's Sara Eckert interviews fellow tailback Justin Forsett.

OK, on second thought . . . there may be some limits to Arian Foster's powers after all.