Carolina Panthers

Q&A: Carolina Panthers TE Ed Dickson on toughness, traffic and stargazing in L.A.

Carolina Panthers tight end Ed Dickson (84) grew up in Long Beach and says he never ventured into L.A. until he was out of college.
Carolina Panthers tight end Ed Dickson (84) grew up in Long Beach and says he never ventured into L.A. until he was out of college. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Ten questions about life off the field with Carolina Panthers tight end Ed Dickson:

Q. This is a home game for you, right?

A. Without a doubt, I’m going home. There’s going to be probably close to 100 people there supporting – friends, family, teachers.

Q. What was it like growing up without a football team in L.A.?

A. I was a Cowboys fan growing up.

Q. Was it weird to be in L.A. and rooting for the Cowboys?

A. Not really, because I never knew a football team that was in southern California. I haven’t been back to the city with the Rams being there. I talked to my family and they love it. Everybody loves it. Just for the businesses downtown and the whole environment.

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Q. Are you a quintessential L.A. guy?

A. I stayed on the Long Beach side. I never ventured down to L.A. until I was out of college.

Q. What’s the biggest difference between Long Beach and LA?

A. L.A.’s the inner city. You’ve got all your clubs and everything like that. Long Beach is south of the airport.

Q. Is Long Beach rougher?

A. It’s all rough around there. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you: You’ve got to know where you are in L.A.

Q. Have you had any brushes with Hollywood fame? Were you ever a movie extra?

A. No. I wish I was. I’ve got an acting face, don’t I?

Q. Would you ever run into actors? Doesn’t everybody know somebody in L.A.?

A. From football and the little bit of celebrity status that I had, I met a lot of different people. I met Denzel Washington. I met Jack Nicholson. We see Snoop all the time. ... Chris Brown, a lot of different people. It’s L.A. to me, it’s nothing different.

Q. Was there anyone you were starstruck with?

A. The only time I’ve been starstruck is when I met Kobe (Bryant). I just couldn’t say anything. I met him twice now and I really couldn’t say anything. I idolized him growing up. I was more a Kobe fan than I ever was a Jordan fan.

Q. I bet you don’t miss the L.A. traffic, though.

A. Oh, no. Three hours. Make sure you’re about three hours ahead of time if you’re going anywhere. If you’re going 30 minutes away, you’re probably going to be in traffic three hours.

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