January 23, 2013 6:00:39 PM
STARKVILLE - Anthony Dixon said it himself that he is currently going through a "childhood dream" as he prepares for his Super Bowl matchup with the Baltimore Ravens as his San Francisco 49ers travel to New Orleans (just 170 miles from his hometown of Terry, Miss.) for Super Bowl XLVII.
After his afternoon practice, he sat down over the phone with The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog to talk about his Super Bowl matchup, his role with the 49ers, how he still remembers the disappointment of his draft day experience and his famous Dawg Pound Rock dance in the NFL.
Without further ado.....
Q: Well the first question is easy Anthony, with the Super Bowl being in New Orleans, how many people in or around Terry, Miss., are going to see you play in the big game live?:
A: "Oh I don't know yet to be honest. It hasn't been decided how many tickets we get a piece or anything like that but I do know this - it'll be costly that's for sure (LAUGHTER). I just can't wait for this week and then next week because every day I wake up right now is the best day of my life. I mean it, the best day of my life. These are the days you wake up and thank God that you get the opportunity to play the game of football man and I couldn't be happier to be here with my teammates enjoying this."
Q: Talk about that dream of playing in the Super Bowl coming true more because I know you want to:
A: "Oh man, it's a dream and something I've worked so hard for since I was a kid but also it's about the work I had to put into my game in high school, college and now that the pros. It's things like this that make sitting around waiting all those rounds in the draft knowing those dudes getting picked before you weren't better than me. I knew they weren't better than me. It's given me the motivation and the anger to go prove people wrong at this level that I can not only stay in pro football but be a member of this championship team."
Q: A lot of MSU fans and well, everybody saw you lift up kicker David Akers after he made that 63-yard field goal at halftime of the season opener at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. You've become the emotional leader of this team so talk about that if you could:
A: "Yeah. That's true, I'm one of the guys on this team that always has the energy and the passion for the game of football. I did that at Mississippi State and I have no problem doing that here with the 49ers. I love my teammates and I think they love me too because they know whatever I'm feeling from day to day isn't a show or isn't fake. My emotion and passion is real and my effort is real and they respect that out of me. I have that emotion in my role as goal-line runner, special teams man on kickoffs and punts, whatever my team needs for me to do. I truly believe and I've told a lot of them this is that even at the pros that if we believe in what we're doing more than the opponent, then we'll win and we'll have the advantage. It's still not always about talent even in the NFL. I love being in San Francisco because this is the organization that thought I could come in a make a difference. I want to win this Super Bowl as a 49er because it allows me the opportunity to give back to the fans here that love me and my coaches that love me and thought enough of me to draft me after all those other dudes."
Q: And you still dance before kickoffs I see and still have that child's like passion for the game even in the day-to-day grind of professional football?:
A: "I have to man. That's easy for me. It's like this - I love football and so I'm always going to have a smile on face as long as I get to keep doing this thing I love for a living. The only thing is I hear too many stories from other guys that can't play anymore that would give anything to be able to play one more down of football. I'm blessed with this opportunity and yes, I have the mean streak in me needed to play this game at the pros but after the play is over and the whistle blows, I've got the biggest smile on my face knowing this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. Now I get to do it in front of the biggest stage at the Super Bowl. That's why i say every day I wake up right now is the best day of my life. It's like that saying - what happens when you childhood dream comes true, what do you do next?
Q: So what's the answer to that question? What is next after this Super Bowl?
A: "I'll figure that out pretty easy. Maybe wake up and start the journey of trying to win another one. The dream never stops my man."
Q: Finally Anthony, MSU fans have seen you score or make a big play and respond with the famous Dawg Pound Rock dance. Does that come out in Super Bowl XLVII?
A: "Of course it does, man. That's my thing on this team."
Q: So the guys on your team know what you're doing on that?
A: "Yeah. They all know. (LAUGHING) They saw me doing it and flexing the dance after a game once and my teammates were like 'what are you doing?' so I was even in charge one day this year in practice to team everybody on the team even Coach Harbaugh how to do the Dawg Pound Rock and so I've even gotten Coach Harbaugh to do it a couple of times this year. It's a special thing for me to do and know that everybody back home in Mississippi is doing it in front of their TVs with me. It's my way to bring a little of that Mississippi State pride into pro ball ya know? The Dawg Pound Rock is just another way I was telling you that I can bring my teammates up during a game and get them emotionally behind what we're trying to do in that game. I love doing that."
Thank you for your time and good luck in Super Bowl XLVII Anthony.
"Thank you and thank you to everybody back in Mississippi."
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
5. A Cinematic and Racial Milestone BOOK REVIEWS