It could all end at any time, anyway, out there in the middle of the scrum. That's why Ball likes to have a good time wrestling with people, toying with them, conning them, whipping their butts, while he still can. All the woes of the world disappear when you're going full tilt, you've got a headlock on your roommate, 281-pound defensive tackle Kelvin Pritchett, and you pin him to the floor of your hotel room for 10 minutes—until assistant coach Jerry Wampfler comes by for bed check—just because Pritchett has been a little uppity and, well, says Ball, "he's got to be taught."
Ball was such an agreeable rookie that he volunteered to sing for the veterans at mealtime. "It got to the point where they'd say, 'All right, we need a rookie to sing—Ball, sit your ass down!' " he recalls sadly. That was, after all, the one thing he has never wanted to do.