By Laura Drucker
It’s hard not to get a little starstruck talking to Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte. Since joining the team in 2008 he’s become an undeniable fan favorite, captivating crowds with his exceptional ability to rush, block, and score. In his very first year in the league, he led all other rookie running backs in total yards and receptions. He’s a Chicago Bears staple, and is continually recognized as one of the most talented players in the NFL.
When Forte isn’t busy on the field, he enjoys staying active with two of his favorite training buddies: his dogs, Taz and Ali. We sat down with
him to learn more.
TAILS: What kind of dogs are Taz and Ali?
Matt Forte: Ali is a Pit Bull and Taz is a Yorkie.
Such opposites! Do they get along?
They get along really well. They’re always playing together!
Did you grow up with pets?
Yes. Growing up, my family always had a variety of dogs—mostly Rottweilers.
Is it hard to be away from Taz and Ali when you travel?
It’s not very difficult—when we have away games I’m only gone for about a day and a half. I do get very anxious, though, to get home so I can see my wife and play with the dogs. I do some off-season training in Florida and this year I brought Taz and Ali down there with me. It was fun having them, and they enjoyed it, too.
Do they get upset when you leave?
For sure. When I start packing my bags they’ll just get these looks on their faces and they’ll lie down and look all sad. And when I walk out the door, they just stare at me through the window.
And when you come back?
They jump all over me!
What are your favorite things to do with them?
I’ve got a big backyard and we’ll go back there and play fetch for hours—they never get tired. Ali’s favorite toy is this huge blue rubber ball. Taz will try to bite it too, but he can’t carry it because the ball is about his size or even a little bigger. So he likes to try and fight Ali for it, but he’s just too little. He’ll still run after it, though. Another one of my favorite things to do with them is during the off-season, when it’s not too cold out, I bring them out to run hills with me. Ali’s a very athletic dog, he runs up the hill right with me. Taz will go up about halfway, but he’s smart and just turns around and goes back down.
If they played on the Bears would they be offense or defense?
They’d both be offense. I think they’d be running backs like me—both are very athletic and fast. I’ve seen Taz makesome good moves around Ali when he’s chasing him. And Ali—he’s faster than I am, so I think he’d be great.
This or That?
Training: With a professional or on your own
Bathing Time: At the groomers or at home
Feeding: Off the table or only out of the bowl
Barking: All the time or only occasionally
Spoiling: Tons of toys or just a few
Playing: In the backyard or at the dog park
Sleeping: In your bed or in their beds
Styling: Collar only or coordinated outfits