Clinton Portis took a shot of Hennessy before games

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Clinton Portis played in 113 NFL games. As part of his pregame routine, the longtime NFL running back would take a shot before taking the field.

In an interview with “Fair Game,” Portis was asked by host Kristine Leahy if it was true that he took a shot of Hennessy before every game. Portis, who spent his career with the Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins, quickly confirmed the rumor.

“Yeah, that’s true,” he said. “If you’re going out, if you’re going out to have a good time, you pregame, right? It was a turnup. It wasn’t like we were getting drunk. We took one shot.”

That’s an interesting revelation. Hearing him talk, we don’t exactly get the impression that Portis was doing this alone. And if a handful of players on his teams were doing it, it only stands to reason that it was going on throughout the league.

Additionally, Portis also noted that he did it as a way to take away the pain that he went through while playing in the NFL.

“This is going to take the pain away or the fear or whatever it was. Now it’s time. After I took that shot, it was like ‘Okay, now it’s time to go do that.'”

This is rather telling and not remotely surprising.

Football is a very painful sport to play. Much of Portis’ career also took place in an era where player safety was not nearly as emphasized as it is today. Having a player taking a shot before a game might not sound ideal. But in reality, it’s hard to blame anyone for finding their own way to deal with the pain.