ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –When C.J. Anderson isn't on a football field or working out, the running back can be found playing another sport you might not expect: bowling.
But while it might be surprising to some, bowling isn't just an occasional hobby for Anderson. Bowling is a connection to his family and has been an aspect of his life for as long as he remembers.
"It goes back to my grandma," said Anderson. "She was in a lot of big tournaments in the '70s, '80s and early '90s. The early '90s were when I really got to watch her. When I was 15, I bowled but I probably didn't take it too serious until I was about 21 or 22, so I've been bowling serious for the last two or three years. It's just fun. It's a sport that I can't get hurt in and you can potentially get better every day."
And Anderson doesn't just bowl once a week. When the offseason rolls around, he can be found in an alley between two and three times a week after he's finished with his football obligations.
"I'm actually in a league on Mondays," said Anderson. "I got a team and they're pretty fun to be around. You learn a lot from them too."
Anderson sees bowling as his version of golf. It's something that gets him out of the house and is mentally stimulating and challenging. He also takes it so seriously that not only does Anderson own 12 of his own bowling balls, but he has also started competing in Amateur Bowling Tournaments (ABT).
"I bowled in my first tournament last week and I was 45 pins from making the first cut," Anderson said. "There were 25 bowlers and they took 14. I came in 16th. There were a lot of good bowlers and that was my first-ever tournament and I wasn't upset about my first ABT tournament."
While he enjoys the competition he gets in his league, he hasn't forgotten where that competitive fire came from. Whenever he gets the chance to go home, Anderson picks his three best bowling balls and gets prepared for a showdown within his own family.
"Oh, we're real competitive," said Anderson. "Grandma still lets us know she's the queen of bowling. She doesn't mess around. My uncle Roman is phenomenal, every time he comes out here he takes his ball and we go at it back and forth, so it's really competitive."
When asked if he's able to pull-off wins against his family, he shrugs, laughs and says: "Here and there."
Right now bowling is just a way to let off some steam and get away, but Anderson sees this as something he would be interested in pursuing competitively after his professional football career is over.
"I could see it being something that I do after football, but we'll see. You never know," said Anderson. "Right now I'm just loving what I do everyday out on this football field, but bowling has been a great outlet."