Amon-Ra St. Brown, Equanimeous, and Equanimeous were rivals from childhood. Their battles were long before they became N.F.L. receivers.
Their parents were supportive of their abilities on the field and off it. Miriam Brown, Miriam Brown’s mother, was born in Germany and spoke only to them in German. She then enrolled them at a French immersion school.
John, their father was a weightlifter who won a Mr. Universe title and was named Mr. World in 1982 and 1981 respectively. Osiris (a brother at Stanford, 24) was also a trainer. He started the training when Equanimeous had 8 years old, showing them how to properly form. using a PVC pipe in lieu of barbells for their reps.
Their father still trains them both as pros. During Amon-Ra’s standout turn on the last season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” John, a documentary series, extolled the virtues calf raises with speculating. Kevin Durant’s Achilles’ tear owed to not doing enough of them.
In a divisional matchup, Equanimeous, 26-year-old receiver for Chicago Bears, will be facing off against Amon Ra, 23-year old receiver for Detroit Lions. The brothers spoke out about their childhoods and how they were able to develop separate personalities.
This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
Are you sure your upbringing gave you an unusual perspective on life and sports?
EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN Yes, we do have a global view of things due to the fact that we traveled so much when we were young. Being exposed to different people and cultures gave us more understanding of people from different backgrounds, so I think that gave me an advantage in life — especially when it comes to teammates and making new connections.
AMON-RA ST. BROWN: The combination is obviously beneficial in football because it is important to learn plays and be able read defenses. As for our mom being so hard on us in the classroom, having a good memory can help you get good grades because that’s a lot of what test taking really is, so we were able to learn things quickly.
When you were in elementary school, you went to school in France for a semester. What was the adjustment like, and what have you learned from it?
EQUANIMEOUS: Not only did we learn to relate to other people but also how others lived. We were able to observe how other children viewed us and how they responded to us. It was fascinating to see how France views Americans and what they imagined we would look like.
AMON-RA: Going to school in France was different for us after having gone to school in America for so long, but it honestly wasn’t that bad because we went to a French school growing up. All we really did there was speak French — even at recess. The kids might not be speaking French, but all the teachers did, so it wasn’t that different. Walking to school, without a car, and using the metro. I was so young that it kind of felt normal looking back on it, and it would definitely be weird if I were to do that now, but I loved it and I’m glad my dad did that for us.
Speaking of your father, I’m sure you noticed how your training regimen separated you from other kids growing up. Do you feel like it’s given you an edge as pros?
AMON-RA: It does, I believe. As children, we were taught a certain training method. Growing up, our dad allowed us to eat whatever we wanted. He just wanted to ensure we had enough protein. He taught us a lot about how to hydrate and sleep, and how to exercise and take care of our bodies.
EQUANIMEOUS: I believe it was more important when we were playing Pop Warner and then in highschool and college. Professionals have many resources. These resources are available in college. However, things get better as you move up the ranks.
Amon-Ra: Do you feel that being the youngest person made you more competitive, because you had two in-house older competitors?
AMON-RA: Although I was the youngest, it made me competitive. However, the house where I grew up was competitive in general. I think it’s instilled in you if your parents or trainer are super competitive, but having two older brothers definitely makes you want to keep up with them and what they’re doing. Being smaller makes you fight a little harder.
Equanimeous, at what point did you realize that you couldn’t “little brother” They are not needed anymore.
EQUANIMEOUS: You can still.
EQUANIMEOUS: They probably did, but that was after they went to college. That’s when they grew into their bodies, but they’re still my little brothers — both of them.
Can you both describe what makes one of you a fierce competitor
EQUANIMEOUS: One of Amon’s biggest strengths, and I don’t know if he thinks about this, is that he always played with older kids in Pop Warner. I played with people my age, or younger than me. He was able to go to college and high school with a huge advantage.
AMON-RA: He would agree that being raised in a super-competitive family makes you who you are. That’s where all three of us get our competitive edge from: just being in that type of atmosphere for so long.
You’ve played in the same division since you’ve both been in the N.F.L. Are you able to connect with each other during weeks when your teams are playing against one another?
EQUANIMEOUS: We’re always playing video games together so we’re always talking, but we don’t normally talk about football too much.
What are your favorite games?
AMON-RA: Together we can play “FIFA” “Call of Duty: Warzone.” But there are other games. “NBA 2K” that I like to play that he doesn’t, and there are games he plays that I don’t.
Keep track of who wins.
AMON-RA: Definitely. With “Call of Duty,” it’s kind of easier to tell, but even when we’re playing “FIFA” I beat him almost every time. He knows this.
EQUANIMEOUS: Sometimes, younger brothers will lie.