Interview: When 'Duty' calls, it's game on for Devin Hester

Devin Hester

Bears' Devin Hester celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field October 16, 2011. (Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE)

The Bears’ Devin Hester estimates he plays video games just about every day. He said it’s due in part to the free time he has and the fact that he feels he can’t go out in public much. His wife doesn’t mind — after all, it means he’s home — except when they have family over.

That’s when she pulls out her secret weapon.

“She’ll send my son down to the basement,” said Hester, who was promoting the first-person shooter “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” in stores Tuesday, over the phone last week. “She knows he won’t let me play games in peace. He’ll grab the controller and start pushing buttons and mess up the game. That does make me come (upstairs).”

Still, Hester insisted he isn’t the biggest gamer on the Bears. That award goes to tight end Kellen Davis. “He stays up all night playing even if we’ve got practice the next day,” Hester said. Both players have been known to team up together on previous “Call of Duty” games, along with teammates Matt Forte, Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Henry Melton, among others.

Sometimes they have players from opposing NFL squads join them, including the Denver Broncos’ Eddie Royal and the Minnesota Vikings’ Joe Webb.

“Two of us will be online and we’ll call this person who will call another person,” Hester said. “There could be as many as 12 of us on the same team. It’s a fun group activity. … Every now and then I might get one kid who asks (if we’re Bears players). They’ll see our screen names and put it together.”

Does Hester talk trash when he’s playing? “When I do good, yeah,” said Hester. And when he’s not doing so hot? “I’m quiet,” he said. “I hate getting shot.”

It wasn’t that long ago that Hester nearly found himself on the cover of another popular video game. He said his agent received a call saying he was under consideration for the cover of “Madden NFL 08.” Many players who appear on the cover of “Madden” have gone on to struggle during the season (that’s how the “Madden curse” started), but Hester said he would gladly become the game’s cover man if given the opportunity.

“I think it’s a great honor to be on the cover,” said Hester, adding that he doesn’t believe in the curse. “I don’t think you should turn that down.”

Heads up: Hester will sign autographs at Lake Barrington Field House in Lake Barrington December 9. The signing will benefit Operation Support Our Troops. Call 815-529-3447 for tickets. ... Knox and teammate Lance Louis will host Johnny's Opportunity Knox -- which benefits families in New Orleans and children in Africa -- at Brunswick Zone XL in Algonquin December 5. Over 20 Bears players are expected to attend. Call 815-529-3447 to reserve a bowling lane.

On the record: "We need something new, and I'm trying. But if, God forbid, I ever become a corny old man, I hope there's a kid who's going to call me out on it and say 'Hey, mother******, you were good back in the day, but your schtick ain't working now.' I want the kids in this business to strive to be creative and, eventually, push me out the door." - WWE Superstar CM Punk in the November issue of Maxim

About this week: If you missed last week's "Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story" screenings, the documentary will be playing again Wednesday and Thursday around Illinois. Click here for showtimes. And if you do see the film, look for the article I did on Jay during my early days as a Tribune soccer reporter. They show the print version of the article in the movie.

Sightings: Bulls legend Scottie Pippen and the Bears’ Lance Briggs had dinner with former Bear Jerry Azumah at Hub 51 Friday. Fellow Bears Hester and Johnny Knox opted for dinner with their families at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab that night. … NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman had dinner at Chicago Cut Steakhouse Thursday. He had lunch at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in Rosemont Friday and visited N9NE Steakhouse later that night. … Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau dined at Chicago Cut Steakhouse Wednesday. … Snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White launched his 2012 “White Collection” line Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Schaumburg and dined with friends at Japonais later that night. … Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer attended Evening at The Palm -- a benefit hosted by the Cubs' Ryan Dempster -- at The Palm Thursday. The event raised over $28,000 for The Dempster Family Foundation. ... The Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp had dinner at Fulton’s on the River Saturday.

Twitter@aboutluisgomez

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