Ten questions about life off the field with Carolina Panthers TE Scott Simonson.
Q. You’re from Jersey, right? Are you full New Jersey?
A. I get a lot of questions about that, especially because of my haircut. The funny thing is I live about 15 minutes from where they filmed the show (MTV’s Jersey Shore). But I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m full 100 percent. I’m not one of those guys who goes tanning or is loud in the gym. At the same time, I love New Jersey. It’s a fun place. I guess you could say a little bit of half and half.
Q. You’re coming up in Jersey and I guess that show’s probably going on around then. Are you spiking your hair, starching your collar and fist-pumping in the club?
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A. That show, I guess that helped it a little bit. It was towards the end of my high school and into college were the big seasons of it. It might have influenced me a little bit. Then I started going with the product in the hair. I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back it may have had an effect on it.
Q. What was your first experience with the Panthers growing up in an area where the team isn’t that big?
A. I remember watching when I was a young kid when they went to the Super Bowl. I remember actually liking their uniforms and colors, as funny as it is. That blue really stood out to me.
Q. You don’t have that much of an accent but somebody listening in can tell you aren’t from here. Have you heard that?
A. Especially down here. It’s funny because the people down here have accents but to them I’m the outsider. I get that quite a lot down here because I don’t have that Southern accent. Some words that I pronounce sound very New Jersey-ish, you could say.
Q. What are some of those words?
A. Some people say I say water [pronounced: wut-er] weird. Some people say I say “dog” or “walk” or “talk” all weird. I guess it’s pick and choose with some words.
Q. You lived out in Oakland with the Raiders for a year but this is probably your first experience in the south, right?
A. I love it down here. I’d definitely say Charlotte is probably my favorite place that I’ve been in or lived thus far. I’m so used to being near New York City or living right near San Francisco and everything’s so crowded. And here, because it’s an up and coming city, everything is nice and new and very modern looking. I catch myself just walking around sometimes.
Q. Have you tried grits yet?
A. Yeah, I’ve tried it. I kind of have no comment on it. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it.
Q. What other Southern delicacies have you had?
A. I’ve definitely had more barbeque. Like smoked brisket and pulled pork and that kind of stuff. I’ve always had it every now and then but you can get it everywhere here.
Q. Have you ever tried livermush?
A. No. I’m still a rookie to the Southern delicacies.
Q. Well if you need a list of things to try and where to try them, let me know.
A. All right, I will.