Charles Leno Jr., a soccer fanatic, shares what he’s most excited about for Bears’ London trip

It’s business as usual this weekend for Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr.

SHARE Charles Leno Jr., a soccer fanatic, shares what he’s most excited about for Bears’ London trip
Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears

Charles Leno Jr. said he’s not a fan of London’s culinary scene.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s business as usual this weekend for Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr.

Despite playing on a different continent, Leno plans to treat the Bears’ trip to London like he does any other road game.

His main concern is that he’s well-rested for the game Sunday against the Raiders. 

Leno didn’t seem too interested in sightseeing or trying new food. In fact, he actually dissed London’s culinary scene (more on that later). 

Many other Bears agreed with Leno’s “business trip” mentality. But some see the benefit of being part of the NFL International Series this season. 

Wide receiver Allen Robinson, who had been to London several times during his four seasons with the Jaguars, believes an international trip is good for team bonding. 

“You’re in a whole ’nother country with just your teammates or maybe a couple of your family members and stuff like that, but everybody is staying in the same hotel,” said Robinson, who said he might venture off during the team’s downtime with the receiving corps. “You want to get on the same accord. You don’t want to do stuff by yourself. So just naturally you’re going to do stuff with your teammates.” 

Cornerback Prince Amukamara, who went to London with the Jaguars in 2016, wants to take advantage of his brief trip abroad. He plans to check out Abbey Road and Buckingham Palace. 

But before the Bears packed their bags and embarked on their London adventure, Leno joined the Sun-Times in this week’s Chat Room.

You said you’ve been to London before. What are you most looking forward to on this trip?

Charles Leno Jr.: “I’m most looking forward to playing in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. . . . It’s brand new, and they put a bunch of money into it, so I just want to see what it’s like. And I’m a soccer fan, so I want to see what type of stadiums they play in. I’ve been to a soccer game before, but I’ve never been to the Tottenham Stadium.” 

What’s your favorite team?

CL: “I don’t have a specific team. I just like players. I’m always looking at a lot of games. . . . In the English Premier League, on Tottenham, I like Dele Alli. I like Kevin De Bruyne on Manchester City. I like Mohamed Salah on Liverpool. I mean, I like a lot of different players.”

Other than playing in the $1 billion stadium, what else are you looking forward to doing or trying? Maybe sightseeing or the food?

CL: “Hell, no. Food’s not good in London. I will tell you that right now; food’s not that great. But I am looking forward to sleep on that Friday after we get done with practice because I’m going to need it. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”

If you find yourself with some free time, who are five guys from this locker room that you would want to be in a guided London tour with? 

CL: “I’d pick Roy [Robertson-Harris, who sits by Leno’s locker, then proceeds to dap him]. I’d pick Cody [Whitehair]. I’d probably pick Bob [Massie], Tarik [Cohen] ’cause he’s gonna be hilarious. And then Prince [Amukamara] because he might complain the whole time.”

Who would be the tour guide?

CL: “Oh, probably me. I like to do a lot of cool, fun stuff.”

How do you plan to pass the time on the eight-hour flight? 

CL: “I’m reading a few books. I’m reading ‘Outliers’ by Malcolm Gladwell. Nothing on Netflix, but I have been watching a show on HBO, ‘The Righteous Gemstones.’ That show is pretty funny, so I’ll be watching a little bit of that.” 

Switching gears to a more personal level, what do you like to do outside of football?

CL: “I’ve got a few hobbies. Not just video games and stuff like that. I like to go to the shooting range every once in a while. I don’t golf, I don’t do any of that. But some of my hobbies are just, like, reading books and stuff like that. Just kind of hanging out with my dogs.

What breed are your dogs?

CL: “Two shorty bulls, Kobe and Khaleesi.” 

What genre do you enjoy reading?

CL: “I like self-help books. The ones where you can continue to get better — types of things like that.”

What music are you into at the moment?

CL: “Right now I’m probably listening to my boy Rexx Life Raj. That’s my best friend from back in California. I’m also listening to Larry June; he’s also from California. I’ve been listening to the new Kevin Gates album; that’s pretty solid. So I’m just hip-hop mostly.”

The Latest
These counties want more more to implement the Act, and the state should probably start a conversation about how dozens of small Illinois counties can effectively govern in a modern society, Rich Miller writes.
The Bears are at their lowest point since, well, the last low point. But what makes this week particularly disturbing is this: the changes Bears fans clamored for in recent years have already been made.
LaVelle Harper, 21, was shot about 3:15 p.m. Thursday in the 7800 block of South South Shore Drive, Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
During a committee hearing Friday, Larry Snelling vowed to aggressively use technology to address robberies while supporting officers by bolstering mental health supports and giving them more time off.
The Illinois Conservation Foundation announced its latest class for the Illnois Outdoor Hall of Fame, to be inducted next spring.