Ten questions about life off the field with Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil:
Q. I know you went longboarding with Luke Kuechly during the summer. What other Southern California things do you do in the offseason?
A. I did some rollerblading. That’s not true, I did that one time just because somebody told me I couldn’t do it anymore. I went rollerblading with my buddy Jordan Cameron, who plays tight end for the Browns.
Q. He said you couldn’t do it?
Never miss a local story.
A. He kind of egged me on about it. So we went down there, we rented rollerblades. And I said, ‘Well, it’d be stupid if we don’t get wrist guards.’ He didn’t want to wear them because he said we’d look silly. And I said, ‘I hate to break it to you, but we already do look kind of silly. I don’t think wrist guards are going to add to that.’
Q. Have you ever lifted weights at Muscle Beach (south of the Santa Monica Pier)?
A. I’ve never lifted weights at Muscle Beach. I’ve lifted and trained at a place called the Yard in Hermosa Beach. It’s almost on the water. It’s more of a modern, real training facility. A lot of the L.A. King players (train) there. ... But I’ve been to Muscle Beach. Everybody has to go to Muscle Beach just to see it.
Q. What do you think of the renewed talks about L.A. getting a team?
A. It seems like I’ve heard it for years. I lived there when the L.A. Rams were there when I was a kid. I went to the Rams’ football camp. I’ve got pictures of me trying to play quarterback. It was a blast. And I was heartbroken when they left. That was my team. I loved them. I don’t know, it seems like it’s been going on forever.
Q. You and your wife are both from southern California. What’s it been like living in Charlotte?
A. It’s a different vibe, but it’s a good different vibe. They’re both great places. I love them both, and they both have their pros and cons. We’ve been here eight years now and this feels a lot like home. We always said we were going to go back after we were done playing. But the longer we stay here, that plan’s getting harder and harder to stick to.
Q. What has become your favorite Southern tradition?
A. Barbecuing’s a big deal in southern California and it is here, too.
Q. Different styles though, right?
A. Different style, different lingo. Like back home you say, ‘Are you going to a barbecue?’ Here you say, go to grill out. I’m like, ‘Grill out?’
Q. What’s the food at a California barbecue?
A. Different kinds of burgers, steaks. Here it’s like pulled pork.
Q. I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about the El Centro (the sandwich Kalil created for Harris Teeter).
A. It had a little bit of a Cali flavor, as much as I could. It’s sort of a blend of Southern and California style food. You had a little bit of both to please everyone. You’ve got the avocados for the tree huggers in California, like myself. Then you have the pulled pork for the (locals).
Q. Did you bring some in for the other linemen?
A. It didn’t matter if it was the worst thing or the most delicious thing, they were going to tell me it sucks regardless. That’s just how they do. They’re always busting my chops.