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Getting to Know: Ryan Allen

Posted Feb 26, 2014

Ryan Allen was a soccer player who turned to football late in high school in his home state of Oregon. After beginning his college career at nearby Oregon State, he transferred to Louisiana Tech, where he became an All-American and twice earned college football's most prestigious punting honor, the Ray Guy Award.

Q: What’s your earliest football memory?

RA: Family get-togethers for the Super Bowl and college bowls when I was 8 or 10 years old. I didn’t really like football back then. I played basketball and soccer growing up.

Q: Do you remember putting pads on for the first time?

RA: Yeah, it was extremely uncomfortable. I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding me.’ I felt weighted down and restricted with vision. The mental excuses were just going through the roof.

Q: What was your first job?

RA: I kept scoreboard for a men’s basketball league when I was 13, for the whole summer and fall. I was supposed to be 15 [to be hired], but they let me do it because I knew what I was doing.

Q: What was your first car?

RA: A 1990 green Honda Accord, sunroof, leather, four doors. Used. It was great. It was a hand-me-down from my sister. I had it three or four years and loved it. I had about 140,000 miles on it when I got it, and 190,000 when I got rid of it. It had a bunch of little things wrong with it.

Q: Did you find it hard letting go?

RA: By that time, I was ready for a new one.

Q: What are you driving these days?

RA: I have a GMC Terrain.

Q: Where’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?

RA: I love Balboa Island, in southern California, right by Orange County. I’ve been to Hawaii a few times. And Palm Springs.

Q: Do you have a list of places you’d like to visit?

RA: Yeah, I’d like to see the Colorado area more. I’ve visited Telluride. I’m a big mountain guy. I love the snow, being in the mountains. Whistler is another place I’d like to go back to [in Vancouver]. Honestly, come to think of it, that’s probably my favorite place.

Q: Are you a pet person?

RA: Love them. I have a miniature Italian greyhound. I got her in college. She’s two now. I love pets. Even cats.

Q: Okay, if I could give you any skill or talent you don’t have, what would you want?

RA: It would be… probably invisibility. If you could just turn it on, that would be great. Flying or being invisible would be the sweetest things ever.

Q: If you could trade places with anyone for a day, would you, and if so, who would it be?

RA: Definitely would do it, because I’m all about seeing and experiencing things from a different perspective. It would be interesting to see the workload and pressure that goes into being a starting quarterback. Also, it would be interesting to see what life is like for a big-time actor on a set.

Q: Well, that leads to my next question, which is… If we made your life story into a movie, who would you cast as Ryan Allen?

RA: Ooooh, that’s tough. I consider myself pretty humorous and sarcastic. I love Vince Vaughn’s humor. As far as personality, he’d be right up there. He’s got that dry, serious humor. Him and Jim Jefferies – a comedian who’s just hilarious.

Q: Now, if you could play a character in a movie, who would it be?

RA: Probably Iron Man. Robert Downey Junior.

Q: If you could be in a band or musical act, whose place would you take?

RA: Probably Mumford & Sons. I love their whole style. I love anybody who can naturally sing. It’s a God-given talent. It’s amazing the sounds that can come out of a person’s voice naturally. I love Frank Sinatra, too. I grew up on that from my parents.

Q: So, you can’t sing?

RA: No. I was in a concert choir for a couple of years in middle school.

Q: Play any instruments?

RA: No, but that’s one thing I’m going to do. I’m going to get a piano and learn how to play.

Q: If you weren’t playing football for a living, what would you want to do?

RA: That’s a tough one… I was bummed I didn’t go to school for engineering. I’ve always been hands-on and big into building things, architecture. I would probably be working to save up to go back to school for that.

Q: Aside from your playbook, which I know isn’t very thick for a punter, what’s the last book you read?

RA: I’m not a big book guy, and I need to be. Every book I read I end up loving. The last one I read was “Fourth and Long,” by Josh Bidwell, the punter who had cancer and overcame it and how he was never really religious until that. Great book.

Q: Do you have any nicknames?

RA: I don’t… I have three first names.

Q: What’s your middle name?

RA: Michael.

Q: Does anyone ever mix that up and call you Allen Ryan?

RA: In college, for some reason, it was Ray Allen.

Q: Like the guy who used to play for the Celtics…

RA: It was messed up. And even Ray Guy. At the awards ceremony, they called me Ray Allen, and everyone was like, ‘WHAT?!’ It’s happened multiple times.