Calais Campbell has a unique voice.
The 6-foot-8, 300-pound All-Pro defensive end has a deep baritone, punctuated by constant hoarseness. It sounds like a lion that just got his tonsils out. Check it out:
I’d always just assumed this was Campbell’s natural speaking voice, as did many others. Over the years, numerous people have commented on his unique voice. Some liked it, some found it odd:
But Campbell’s voice wasn’t always like that. In a recent piece for The Player’s Tribune, he revealed that his unique voice is the result of the constant screaming he does on game days:
People tell me that I sound like a mix of Shaq and Cookie Monster. Personally, I like the way my voice sounds. I think it adds character. And I also like it because it wasn’t the voice I was born with. It was developed over time—earned in a way. Football changed the way I speak. Like literally. You see, there are some guys who play the game without much emotion. They take care of their business and mostly keep to themselves. I’m not really one of those guys. When it’s game day, I’m pretty much screaming from the time I wake up in the morning until the final whistle blows. In my mind, that’s always just been part of my job—to keep the intensity level up as much as possible. So I’d scream myself hoarse on Sunday, slowly get my voice back during the week and then repeat again the following Sunday. I kept that cycle up for several years, until one week I lost my voice and it just never fully came back. I guess my vocal chords just couldn’t take it anymore.
There you have it, folks—the most unusual voice in the NFL resulted from Campbell getting ridiculously hyped game after game, year after year.
Campbell wasn’t lying about his raucous ways, either. The guy yells non-stop on game days. Just check out the first fifteen seconds of this video:
Perhaps Ricola, the cough drop manufacturer, should reach out to Campbell about a potential sponsorship deal. Now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the veteran Campbell is expected to be a vocal leader on a young, talented defense. That shouldn’t be an issue.
RELATED: Calais Campbell Talks Nutrition, Training and Picking Off Peyton Manning