One of the most shocking signings in the first few days of 2017 NFL Free Agency was the Packers picking up Martellus Bennett. Although many Packers fans may know Bennett as the former Chicago Bear and New England Patriot, there is far more to know about the tight end beginning his tenth career season in Green Bay.
- He once saved the life of a fan.
In what Bennett described as the fifth time he had saved someone’s life, he caught a fan who fell from the stands after a 38-10 victory over the Packers while he was with the Giants. The 52-year-old Giants fan stumbled over a railing while trying to steal a pair of gloves Bennett was handing to a kid.
2. He is a fan of comic books.
In the same story about catching the falling Giants fan, Bennett compared himself to the Marvel superhero Cyclops from the X-Men.
“Cyclops has super powers,” Bennett said of the mutant X-Men leader who has the ability to fire an optic blast from his eyes. “He’s caught people. He caught Jean Grey a couple of times. But all superheroes catch people at some point in time. Otherwise they’re not as super as they think they are.”
3. He is the star of a controversial home video.
I will just tread lightly through this one and let the footage speak for itself, but Martellus starred in a video with his brother, Seahawks Defensive End Michael Bennett, entitled Black Olympics. The two compete in eating fried chicken and watermelon before wrapping things up with a Kool-Aid drinking battle. In a far less controversial video, he also raps about his love of Cap’n Crunch cereal.
4. He is a published children’s book author.
Bennett self-published a book titled Hey A.J. in June 2016 which has its own accompanying mobile app. The app allows the user to choose multiple narrators to read the story, as well as a game where you help A.J. make breakfast.
5. He produced an animated short film.
Bennett produced and starred in an animated short titled ZOOVIE: A Warm and Fuzzy Tale published in 2016. The film also stars ESPN personality Cari Champion and rap artist Asher Roth.
6. He had fans vote on his Packers jersey number.
In what Bennett tweeted was an homage to the Packers being community owned, he put a four option poll up on Twitter for fans to choose his new number. The options were 80, 84, 85 and 86. Although Bennett had little chance of picking a number that did not once belong to a beloved receiving alum with those options, the fans voted overwhelmingly for him to take Donald Driver’s number 80. His old number of 88 is currently taken by Ty Montgomery, but Montgomery will be forced into a number change anyway in 2017 due to his position switch to running back. Bennett did tweet that he would stick with whatever number the fans chose.
7. He hates the Bears organization touting the “85 Bears” as much as you do.
In an interview while he was with the Bears, Bennett called out the organization for harping on the team’s single season of success.
“It’s ‘ ’85 Bears’ this and ‘ ’85 Bears’ that,” Bennett said. “ ‘Oh, if you had just done this or that like the ’85 Bears.’ Same with the organization. They stress the team’s history instead of the present.
8. He has a LOT of tattoos.
Although certainly not abnormal in this day and age for athletes to have tattoos, it is interesting to note that Bennett has a whopping 287 of them, many self-designed. A pair of notable ones are the word “failure” on his left hand and the word “success” on his right, to remind Bennett that success is the right choice in life.
9. He can be politically active.
As is his right, do not expect Bennett to heed any calls to “stick to catching passes from A-Rod.” Bennett has taken multiple political stances in the past year alone, vocalizing his intention not to join the Super Bowl champion Patriots when they are honored at the White House by President Donald Trump. He also raised a fist with then-teammate Devin McCourty during the National Anthem on Sept. 11 in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and other players raising awareness of racial injustice.
Judging by this list, we are in for one heck of a ride, Packers fans.
What did you find most interesting on this list? Let me know in the comments how you feel about the Bennett signing.