Growing up related to someone famous is an advantage in many ways, as Gophers receiver Mike Brown-Stephens can attest.
Being the nephew of music superstar John Legend has given Brown-Stephens a window into a lifestyle that most of us can only imagine.
He and teammate Trey Potts spent time in Las Vegas in May during Legend's residency there, enjoying front row seats and fancy hotel rooms, before Brown-Stephens slid over to Legend's mansion in Los Angeles.
Brown-Stephens and Legend talk multiple times a week, with Legend paying close attention to his nephew's games, tweeting about Gophers football and even body surfing in the locker room after big wins.
The potential downside is always having a comma after your name, with your famous relative casting a shadow over you even in a sentence. But Brown-Stephens, who constantly evokes the word "selflessness" when talking and backs it up with his actions, doesn't see it that way.
"It's definitely a blessing. I would say it could be a curse, but it's only a curse for people who let it be," Brown-Stephens said during an interview on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast. "It's just real cool to go out and live a part of their life, seeing a bigger side of life."
It helps that Brown-Stephens is making a bigger name for himself on the field this season as well. He leads a balanced Gophers pass-catching group with 12 catches through four games and has taken on a bigger role both on and off the field with fellow receiver Chris Autman-Bell out for the season with an injury.
He's earned the trust of QB Tanner Morgan — and the forgiveness of his uncle.
A dozen years ago, when Brown-Stephens was just a kid and was visiting Legend in New York City, he accidentally broke one of his uncle's Grammy Award trophies.
"Man, I can't run away from this," he said with a laugh when I brought it up, before he explained how he knocked the prized music trophy off a shelf by accident. "Every time I go back to visit him, I always go in his trophy room and I look and always find it — 2010, that's the one I broke. He was like, 'Oh, Mikey, you broke my Grammy. But that's OK, I'll order another one'."
The Gophers would like to order up another win Saturday and keep accumulating them just like Legend does with awards.
"We all know we're 4-0, but I think this team does a good job moving forward and moving one week at a time — better than the past few teams I've been on, as a collective," Brown-Stephens said. "A lot of teams would be like, 'We just blew out a top-25 team, like they literally didn't score until the fourth quarter and blah, blah, blah. What more do we have to do? But we do a really good job of just moving on and taking things one week at a time to make that our main focus."