Never underestimate the impact of speed. Last season, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman DeMarcus Ware, 70 pounds lighter than Samuels, used his quickness and leverage on one play to actually knock the House of Samuels onto his French doors. "He's so fast," the big man says humbly of Ware. "It was embarrassing to have to pick myself up in front of everyone."
That's because it doesn't happen often. But a similar thought must be coming to mind after he muscles the Triple X through whips and fancy moves across the wakes. The long series of fast-forward plays ends with him laid out flat on the tube, his right ear resting on the canvas and his Rushmore shoulders overlapping the edges. Exhausted, he has to … pick himself up in front of everyone.
"This is more than I thought it would be," says Samuels, coughing. "I swallowed some water, too."
"I wanna ride later, so don't drink the whole lake," says a visitor in the boat.
Samuels leads the chorus of laughter. But his upper body is admittedly sore, a sum of flesh that happens to cover a lot of real estate.
He could quit on us. Who would stop him? Six of us could wrap our arms around his ankles and still not stop his size-15 feet from walking up the dock to the bench. But this is what has made Samuels stand out in a sport of gargantuan men with outlandish strength and Olympic speed: Power above the neck.