But worrying that his teammates would prank him by walking away midflow occasionally gave Gross stage fright -- aka paruresis, or what urologists refer to as "ballpark bladder." His tight pants, no-fly spandex and all the tape on his gloved hands and mangled fingers made it cumbersome to kneel behind the bench and pee into a cup (a method that was so popular among his teammates that rookies often had a hard time differentiating which cups contained actual Gatorade).
And so, in one of the final home games of his career, during a TV timeout with the defense on the field, the three-time Pro Bowl blocker figured he had nothing to lose -- he would proudly march off the field toward a small bathroom used mostly by field staff, where for once he could pee in peace. Inside the bathroom, Gross was almost immediately slip-sliding around the polished concrete floor in his cleats and struggling mightily with his gloves and pants.
It's simple math, really: Players drink gallons of water but can't leave the field for even 30 seconds for fear of a turnover happening midstream.
Over the years, Gross had tried every technique NFL players and other hyper-hydrated athletes use to surreptitiously relieve themselves during games.
When his sweaty, dirty shoulder pads bumped the temple of a fan in a Cam Newton jersey next to him, Gross realized proper urinal etiquette required him to attempt small talk."Heck of a game," Gross blurted with a nod to the dumbfounded fan."The guy is staring at me, and I'm fully aware of how weird this situation is, and now it's all delaying the pee process," says Gross, who, sources say, was in too much of a hurry to wash his hands.
"Poor guy probably paid a fortune for a field pass because he wanted to know what it was like behind the scenes at a big-time sporting event.
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