Defensive tackle Beau Allen is new to Tampa but is already making himself well known amongst his teammates and staff alike. I sat down with him in search of 'content gold' and boy, did he deliver. This is Behind the Buccaneers with Beau Allen.Carmen Vitali: Let's start off with a couple quick 'Would you rather?' questions. Would you rather them make a movie of your life before you were 21 years old, or after?
Beau Allen: "After, because who is going to be the child actor to play me as a young man? It would have to be like a young Chris Farley."
Well, who would play over-21 you?
"Like an older Chris Farley."*
[Editor's note: Well, we see where this is going. I wish I could effectively convey the conversation-like tone Allen had because I was laughing to the point of almost-tears for a lot of this interview.]*Would you rather play the villain or the hero in a movie?
"I see myself as the lovable sidekick. Like the sidekick that comes back in the nick of time to save the day after the hero makes some sort of easily avoidable mistake. I'm the everyman. I've thought about that a lot."Would you rather never speak again or have to say everything you're thinking – and I think I already know the answer to this.
"Say everything I'm thinking because let's be honest, we aren't that far off from that right now."Is there a filter at all?
"There is, and you should be thankful for it."
You're going to have to tell me about this Tampa Beau thing.
"It's actually Tampa Bay Beau. It's got a better ring to it. Tampa Bay Beau wears a lot of linens. He sweats a lot. He rocks straw hats – those are a must. Smokes more cigars than the average guy."
[Note: Tampa Bay Beau is something that Allen started referencing on his social media platforms just a few short weeks after being acquired by the Buccaneers in free agency from the Philadelphia Eagles in March. It's his new persona, or alter ego, or I'll just let him further explain...]
"Tampa Bay Beau loves to fish, too. But like, surf-fish. Like you're on the beach and you fish. Tampa Bay Beau reads newspapers, not e-readers. Dick Francis novels, too. I'm still developing the character. Not even a character, I'm developing the lifestyle. Tampa Bay Beau doesn't own a bed, he sleeps in a hammock in his house. He also has a hammock outside. He lives on the beach, you know. Tampa Bay Beau only drinks orange juice. No water. On the field? Orange juice. Tampa Bay Beau doesn't believe in sunglasses or sunscreen. Tampa Bay Beau is stubborn. You know how there's the 'Most Interesting Man in the World?' Tampa Bay Beau is his nephew."
His pirate nephew? You were a pirate for Halloween one year. That's a little serendipitous.
"My mom was feeling nostalgic and looking through old photos and found that, so she sent it to me and I posted it. She's like, 'this is so cool!' You think I'm pretty cool on social media and that I have a good Instagram? My mom's got a great Instagram. She's private though, so don't get any ideas."
So, you learned everything you know about social media from your mom?
"I learn everything I know just in general from her. My dad's cool, too. My parents are probably googling my name right now and they're going to find this interview, so shout-out dad."
What about your siblings?
"Yes, I have an older brother and a younger sister. I'm the center of attention. But my mom says I'm the mal-adjusted middle child. Literally, those are her words. She's ok. I've been gassing her up, she's going to get a big head."
Are you and your siblings competitive when it comes to sports?
"We play a lot of yard games. We have a cabin in northern Wisconsin and we get real competitive up there. Spike ball, can-jam, stuff like that. Your pride gets a little beat up sometimes. We play a lot of cards and board games, too. We were playing the board game Risk one time and my sister pulled some shady bull- …ony *[there's that 'filter'] *and I got so angry at her, I think I flipped the board or the game ended or something. Anyway, I had to buy her an edible arrangement to apologize. My mom made me buy her an edible arrangement. So yeah, we're a competitive family. My dad still plays hockey to this day. It's like twice a week, he's pretty good. My dad was actually a male cheerleader at Wisconsin where I went to school. We give him a lot of s--- for that. But he's a great athlete and so is my mom. But I'm obviously the best. That was the underlying tone in there. I just want to make sure I'm hammering that home."
Safe to say humility isn't your thing?
"We discussed that earlier and I'm actually the most humble man around."
[Note: He said that with complete sarcasm. In contrast, I found Allen's humor to be more on the self-deprecating side, but light-hearted and incredibly infectious.]
You were in Philly for a while – did you pick up a love for cheesesteaks?
"Here's the thing, cheesesteaks taste best between 11 p.m. and 4 p.m. Trust me, I did a lot of research on this and you can ask pretty much anybody and that's true. Eleven p.m. and 4 p.m. is prime cheesesteak eating hours. But, if you eat a cheesesteak for breakfast, you've taken a major wrong turn in life. There's a break in there. If you like wake up and eat a cheesesteak first thing in the morning, you did something wrong."
And you have one of your guys here from Philly with you in Vinny Curry.
"Yeah, that's my guy. I've played a lot of snaps with Vinny over the last four years. He's a great guy, man. Great smile. I think he's going to be a great part of our d-line room. It's also fun when you go to a new place and you see guys that you watched on film. I watched the Bucs defense in 2017 a lot on tape just because we had a lot of common opponents and played a similar scheme. It's fun to see those guys on tape and then meet them in person, like Gerald [McCoy]. Then there's obviously Mitch [Unrein], too, who didn't play here but he played for the Bears. It's always fun to get a new room together and get to know guys and create that bond."
[Note: Allen was one of five offseason acquisitions the Bucs made for their defensive line - six, if you count new Defensive Line Coach Brentson Buckner. Allen and Curry came from Philadelphia just weeks after winning Super Bowl LII as Tampa Bay acquired Mitch Unrein from Chicago and traded for Jason Pierre-Paul from the New York Giants, as well. The Bucs' first overall pick in the 2018 draft was also on the line, defensive tackle Vita Vea from the University of Washington. New room, indeed.]
Ok well I also want to talk to you about your hair.
[Note: If you've never seen Beau Allen, please google him and his incredible, shoulder-length blonde tresses immediately.]
The luxurious locks by themselves are beautiful, but you touched on this in your introductory press conference, there's actually a really cool reason behind why you have long hair.
"Yeah, so my mom who I was bragging a lot about earlier is a breast cancer survivor. I was messing around a lot earlier but she's a great lady. I think it's been 13 years now, but she was diagnosed when she was really young and I was in middle school. I think I was in sixth grade and my brother was a year older than me, and my sister was really young – she's seven years younger than me. It was a tough time for our family. You don't really realize that until you get older. I don't think I really understood everything that she went through and our family went through until I was at least in high school just because when you're a kid, you don't really get it. You know what I mean? That's a long introduction to explaining my hairstyle. I actually didn't cut my hair one time while I was in college, which is a fun fact. I started growing it out freshman year of college to kind of remind me of what my folks have been through. If I ever had anything going on in my life, it just reminded me and brought me back to center that my folks have been through a lot and they made a lot of sacrifices, especially my mom, but my dad, too. That's the main reason I started growing it out. I've gotten involved in a lot of charities and organizations. The NFL does a great job of breast cancer awareness and cancer awareness, in general, so I'm excited to get involved in that down here. It's always a little uncomfortable to talk about your mom and her breasts and being sick, but I think- and she's said this to me before – if her story and talking about it helps one lady or individual, makes them get themselves checked out or go in for early detection or create some sort of awareness that helps that one family… or maybe there's a kid that's in sixth grade like I was and maybe his mom or dad has cancer and he hears about my story, if that makes him feel a little bit better about it then it's a good thing to talk about."
It is. How did your mom find out?
"She's a nurse. It's kind of a long story but basically she just felt a thickening of her skin, nothing even really crazy and she went and tried to get it checked out. The doctors actually tried to tell her that it really wasn't anything but she just had a feeling. She went back a couple more times and eventually, finally, had to fight to get a biopsy and that basically ended up saving her life. I guess the moral of the story that she always says to me is that you know your body and you know what's up. If you kind of have that feeling, and even if it's nothing then at least you have the piece of mind that you went and got checked out, but for her getting checked out early like that, and she really had to push for it…
[Note: Allen trailed off here, seemingly getting a little choked up while recounting his mother's journey. Allen's mother is one of the over 250,000 women who get diagnosed with breast cancer every year, the most of any other cancer in women. It's a story Allen has been very open about for the aforementioned reasons and every year during October, Allen braids his hair and strings a pink ribbon through it to further bring awareness to the cause.]
As NFL players we have a great platform and over the past few years we've seen a lot of guys really stepping up. There are some really great guys that have great stories like mine and so many guys on the team that get involved with different community service or charitable projects and organizations. There are a lot of cool, cool stuff that guys in the NFL do and it's a lot of positive things."