Plenty of little boys want to be football players when they grow up, and many dream of becoming firefighters. Joe Maese has gotten to do both. "Even when I played in the NFL, I eventually couldn't see myself doing anything different than I do now," the former Raven tells the Baltimore Sun. "I always knew I wanted to help somebody. It wasn't about money, but doing something constructive with my time."
Maese ("my-eh-say"), 31, played five NFL seasons and a year in an indoor league, but he never forgot his boyhood dream. He's the son of a Phoenix firefighter, and "it kind of gets in your blood and runs in the family," he says. A year ago, he joined the roster of the Baltimore Fire Department. "There are a lot of similarities in football and firefighting," he says. "Both can be extremely emotional, but in both sometimes you have to keep the emotion under control."