Demarcus Ware is a freakishly talented athlete best known for being a terrifying pass rusher and a nice guy off the field. A mainstay of Denver's underrated defense, Ware has also been stepping out into the spotlight, representing Hugo Boss, rubbing elbows at Super Bowl parties, and making his presence felt outside of Sports Authority Field. He talked to MAXIM about his offseason and what he's learned playing the game he loves.
What is it like when your season ends in the playoffs?
During the season, you’re winning games, being consistent, doing what you need to do. And then you’re like, ‘OK, we can do this.’ And now you play a game and lose in that second round—BAM, it’s done. ‘What happened?’ We didn’t play like we should have played. And you sit back and think about it, ‘Where did I go wrong? Where did we go wrong?’ We have to think about playing a more consistent season. We didn’t play like we should have played, and that can be changed. It’s all about mentality.
Who’s your favorite quarterback to sack?
Usually the running quarterbacks. They’re pretty hard to get to. guys like Andrew Luck or Kaepernick or Michael Vick or Geno Smith. Those guys, you have to first beat the tackle and find out where the rabbit is in the pile. When you get to them, you know you have a good prize.
How do you feel about the marketing side of your job?
When you think about football, the players have helmets and all the pads on, so you never really see their face, you never see their personality. So now on the marketing side, if you are consistent throughout your career, being successful in what you do, then teaming up with Hugo Boss means the same thing. It’s not just Hugo Boss, the fashion brand—it’s Hugo Boss, the culture.
Why is style important for athletes?
Every year, style becomes more of a sign of who you are and what you represent. You can talk, and people know what kind of person you might be—'He’s a great guy.’ But what type of style does he have? What is that extra edge? I think that shows your personality. Why not let your style come out and be you, so people can see you more outwardly and get a certain perception?
What’s been your biggest splurge since making real money?
In terms of importance, getting my mom out of a 700 square-foot apartment into a nice home—that was really valuable. From where we came from, I think that’s the main thing: Sheltering my family and my little sister. Now they’re enjoying it.
What’s biggest lesson you wish you knew at 15.
As a 15-year-old, you usually don’t think about where you’re going to be next. You think, probably, ‘I’m about to turn 16, trying to get a car, get my permit going and get rolling.’ But you don’t think about the fundamentals of life, where your foundation is at. Learning as much about yourself as you can and not worry so much about your athleticism. Use your smarts.
What has football has taught you about life?
Self discipline. Being able to not waver in times of adversity. How to turn up the attitude, turn up the demeanor when the iron’s hot? That will get you through, and then you’ll be all right.
What’s the top lesson you’ve learned about women?
The best thing to do is listen before you talk. Don’t try to get a assume who she is or how she sees things. You sit back and listen first, and then you talk. Let them get it out first. It’s about not being a 'me person' but being a 'you person.'
What traits you find attractive in a woman?
Well, I’m a very fit person. Everyone can’t have a nice body, but you can work on it and get where you need to be. You can tell who’s working on it! And personality goes a long way. Eyes and smile. That says the same 7 to 70.
Who would you like to see on the Maxim Hot 100 list?
I think I’m at least on there at 94. Got to get a men thing in there now. [Laughs] But I don’t know, man. I got to think about that. There’s a lot of beautiful women out there....