Amidst all of the controversy with the replacement refs in Monday night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, joy seems to have escaped NFL fans everywhere. The officiating has turned from dismal to disturbing and doesn’t appear to be getting any better. Everywhere we turn, all we are hearing, seeing, and reading about is debates on the replays of Monday Night Football’s outlandish game deciding call. We are talking about it over the water cooler at work and threatening boycotts of our favorite fall pastime. It is only two days after the “Call Heard Around the World” and we need a break.
I was lucky enough to have won the opportunity to dine with Andy Dalton this past Tuesday night. The Bengals quarterback was very candid and lighthearted, allowing fans to escape from the reality of the state of the NFL. Dalton has been stealing our hearts in Cincinnati since he first took the field last year, in his rookie season. This guy is the real deal and it showed in front of 30 other fans on Tuesday night.
During the dinner with Dalton, the 30 winners were treated to a question and answer session with the quarterback. Since the crowd was smaller and more intimate, the fans were given the opportunity to ask Dalton any pressing questions that they had ever wanted to know about him, his teammates, and the NFL in general. The question and answer session was emceed by WEBN radio personality, Meat. The following interview contains questions asked by various fans throughout the session and the MC of the night.
So what is exactly your favorite nickname?
Andy: I’ve been called Red my whole life. I guess when I got here someone threw Rifle at the end of that. So Red Rifle is alright, but I’ve always been Red, Andy, AD so it doesn’t really matter to me.
Fan: What is the difference between playing college and NFL?
Andy: It is a big difference. I mean you are putting all of the best guys in college and putting them on one team. So the game is definitely a lot faster…a lot faster.
Fan: What shocked you the most about the NFL?
Andy: Kind of like what I was saying, the speed of the game, you got to get used to that.
MC: The paycheck right?
Andy: Yeah, the paycheck isn’t bad (laughing).
Fan: Who is your favorite receiver besides A.J. (Green) to throw to?
Andy: I mean we have a bunch of guys. I mean Andrew Hawkins has done a great job on offense. I mean we have a lot of guys. I wouldn’t say there is just one.
Fan: How did you like playing wide out?
Andy: Yeah, the first play of the game last week, you know the reason A.J. (Green) was open was because they had to double cover me outside of the receivers.
MC: Was there something planned later on? Because you guys tested the waters a couple of times where they put you out. Was there a play put in a place around the goal line where they could throw to you?
Andy: The only way I was going to get the ball thrown to me was if nobody covered me. Which was unfortunate, but it was the way it was drawn up.