Q&A: Linebacker Jonathan Newsome

Rookie learned quickly from his mom to keep a clean house.

Indianapolis Colts rookie outside linebacker Jonathan Newsome recently spoke with Phillip B. Wilson about how he appreciates the importance of cleanliness, and how that won’t change with a new puppy in the house.

Phil B: What do you like to do away from football? Any off-the-field hobbies?

Jonathan: My off-the-field hobbies are probably just going home to a clean house. I like to make sure my house is nice and clean.

Phil B: Really? So you’re a neat freak?

Jonathan: Yeah, I can’t relax in a dirty environment. Everything has got to be a certain way. I’ve got to make sure all the dishes are clean, the floor is vacuumed. Then I can finally relax. If I come home and everything is just all over the place, I’ve got to clean up first. Then I can just chill, play a game or talk on the phone or any of that stuff.

Phil B: Is this because of your mom?

Jonathan: It might be my momma.

Phil B: What’s her name?

Jonathan: Kimberley. She used to come in my room and tell me to clean my room. I would hurry up and just throw my clothes in the closet or not fold up my clothes and put them in a drawer. Then when she went there to check my room to see if it was clean, she would go up there and then come back downstairs and tell me, ‘Now go up there and clean your room for real.’ I would go up there and everything is all over the place. She really enforced the rules on cleaning. I remember she used to come home and I thought I had cleaned the kitchen pretty good, and there would be a little bit of water behind the sink. She’d be like, ‘What the hell is this?’ You know what I mean? Just little stuff. She made me like this. Blame my momma. Blame my momma for who I am. (Laughs.)

Phil B: That’s good, right?

Jonathan: Yeah, that’s good.

Phil B: You’re proud of that?

Jonathan: Yeah, she was on it.

Phil B: Women admire that in men, right? Because we’re not known for our cleanliness.

Jonathan: Exactly. But I like to keep things nice and neat. Now my locker (looks at his locker), this is pretty much as messy as I get and it’s really not that messy. It could be better. It could be better. But this is after today. By the time I come in here the next day, this is going to be nice and clean because I’m not going to leave without cleaning it up.

Phil B: Is your mom still that way?

Jonathan: Oh yeah, definitely. We had stuff to do before we did what we wanted to do. That’s kind of where I get the whole, ‘I can’t sit here and chill and relax until I get it actually clean.’ It’s just habit.

Phil B: So I wouldn’t see an old pizza box on the dining room table?

Jonathan: If you do, it’s getting removed immediately.

Phil B: And you learned a long time ago that shoving the clothes under the bed doesn’t work.

Jonathan: No, that doesn’t work. Now, sometimes I slip up. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m always perfect. Sometimes, it might be a few days, when I’m too tired to do it. But after a while, I’m like, ‘OK.’

Phil B: It’s OK to have a few dishes in the sink?

Jonathan: Yeah, just a few, but not too many.

Phil B: Because then they start smelling after a while.

Jonathan: Right, exactly, you don’t want to come in the house and everything be smelling crazy, especially if you’ve got some company coming over. Me and my girl, we like to cook, so I’ve got to make sure everything is clean. Plus, I’ve got a puppy now.

Phil B: A puppy?

Jonathan: I’ve got an American bulldog named Kleeko, Champagne color. He’s an American bully.

Phil B: Kleeko?

Jonathan: You know, like the nickname for Champagne. You technically spell Kleeko like C-l-i-c-q-u-o-t. It’s French. But I spell it like someone who can’t read. K-l-e-e-k-o. That’s easier.

Phil B: Kleeko is going to challenge you now because there’s puppy smell.

Jonathan: Well, he knows. He’s learning. He’s still a puppy, about eight or nine weeks, but he’s going to be a fast learner because I don’t play that.

Phil B: You don’t play that?

Jonathan: I don’t play that.

Phil B: No smell?

Jonathan: Nah, no poop in the house. He knows if he poops in the house, he’s going in the cage for a long time. He’s going to learn fast. That’s just how it is. I had to learn fast. Kleeko is going to learn fast. (Laughs.)

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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