Free Press sports writers Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez preview the Detroit Lions game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press

Get to know Detroit Lions tight end Michael Roberts, who caught two touchdown passes in last week’s win over the Miami Dolphins, in five questions:

Who was your hero growing up?

“My hero growing up? Wow, it was my grandmother (Deborah Young). My grandmother was someone that really – see, I didn’t play sports growing up. I didn’t really do too much. It was just, I was more of a family-oriented kid. My grandmother was the only one out of our family that really brought everyone together and led by example. And even when she – my grandma passed away from cancer my senior year of high school, and even when she was sick in the hospital, it was like she ended up planning her funeral. She was just one of the strongest people I know. I could never imagine being as strong-minded, as willful as her. I just strive to be.

What was your least favorite nickname as a kid?

“Bamm-Bamm. My grandma (called me that). It was because, you ever watch the Flintstones? I was Bamm-Bamm. Destructive. It got shortened to Bamm as I got older. Only close, very close family and relatives call me that, though.”

What’s the most memorable football game you’ve ever been a part of?

“Ever? I’ll say two of them. One’s a win and one’s a loss. Both my senior year of college. One’s (Bowling Green). I had the best game of my career. Ninety-four yards, three touchdowns. And BYU I didn’t score any points, but I scored a two-point conversion to go up. We went up 53-52 with a minute to go. No defense. And the reason why we lost was because we didn’t play defense. A minute, 11 seconds to go, (they) hit a post first play. First couple plays, they’re sitting in field-goal range already.

“I remember it because it was the first time I played in (Utah) and I was dying. I couldn’t breathe. And it was just a shootout. Like every time you looked up, someone was scoring. It was just an energetic game. It was a whiteout for them so when you look up all you see is white, ground’s shaking. It was a great atmosphere.”

What’s the best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received?

“Save. Ask before you do. That was really the best two. Like I said, save your money when you can and never do something without asking someone else or someone that’s in that field. Because you can make a mistake, and you can avoid making a great mistake by just asking.

“It’s an adjustment definitely going from just trying to beat poverty to being essentially on top of the world financially. And you go through a period where you do what you want, you get what you want, you deserve it. I definitely agree with that mindset, but then it comes to a time where it’s like, ‘All right, this is my career. I’ve got to make this last. Offseason’s long.’ So it’s just growing mentally, maturing as a professional athlete.”

What are you giving out for Halloween next week?

“Full-size candy bars. All the kids come to my house. I really am putting a lot of effort in. This is the first time I have ever handed out candy as an adult. I still want to kind of go trick-or-treating, but my woman won’t let me so I’m making sure that I have great candy bars, great selections, and the little kids aren’t going to use up my candy before the night’s over so I’ll make sure I have extras.”

Contact Dave Birkett: Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. 

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