"Time to relax, guys," says a member of the photo crew.
That means it's time for the HO Triple Shot. The Triple Shot looks as if it's been stolen from the first-class cabin of an airplane - a row of large, cushy lounge seats for three passengers, or for Samuels and his two arms. But instead he sits in the aisle seat, with Sellers at the window and an 11-year-old rider in the middle. You can practically hear the 'Skins players saying "Ahhh" as they kick back, much as they would on a flight home after a tough game.
Not for long, though. The ride turns bumpy. Then it gets downright hairy. The Triple Shot goes airborne … and shakes the 700 pounds of cargo upon landing. "Nothing comes easy," Samuels said earlier about his Sunday gridiron battles. On his face is grit, determination … ah, heck, it's fear. His eyes are the size of manhole covers. The tough guy is screaming. The tube and its passengers touch down one more time, skidding to a stop.
"You're a cream puff," the boy in the middle says to Samuels. No, he's not. To prove it, Samuels, still sitting, lifts the kid from the middle seat with those oven-mitt hands and throws him out the back as if tossing aside an empty Gatorade cup. He appears to be on his game. Or at least he's very much into the tube.
"You might need a giant shoehorn to get my butt out of here," he says. His piano-key smile and booming laughter say that while he might be on his game today, maybe the game is really on him.
The Meaning of "Big"
This wasn't the first time Washington Redskins' left tackle Chris Samuels had his hands full with big circular objects. During his personal offseason training, he hefts and flips a 500-pound tractor tire end over end. He also sprints down a field while pushing a wheelbarrow filled with cement bags. Samuels prefers these unconventional workouts, which is why he didn't mind pulling the reins on runaway tubes.
"Old-school stuff works better for me," says the man described by teammate Mike Sellers as the locker-room cutup. "It's more realistic than a weight room to what happens on the field."
Truth is, he'd rather do his heaviest lifting through the Chris Samuels Foundation that came to fruition in 2007. "He meets kids all the time who are looking up to the wrong people," says his girlfriend, model Monique (Hazel) Cox. "When he retires, he wants to run the foundation and coach high-school football. If he can lead one young person to aspire to something bigger, then he'll feel like he's done his job."
When his larger-than-life silhouette moved away from the stack of 16 water toys at the end of our tests, he appeared to be on his way to accomplishing more huge feats.