- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
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Each week during the season, we'll chat with a different Detroit Lions player or coach for a look at their lives on and off the field in a feature called "Ten(ish) Questions With ..."
Previous Ten(ish) Questions With...: RB Theo Riddick; DE Devin Taylor; TE Joseph Fauria; LB Tahir Whitehead; CB Darius Slay; QB Shaun Hill; WR Kevin Ogletree; C Dominic Raiola; WR Kris Durham; DT Justin Bannan; TE Brandon Pettigrew
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Since Rob Sims arrived in Detroit from Seattle, he has become a stalwart on the offensive line next to center Dominic Raiola. Combined, the two are the veterans of a Lions offensive line that has protected Matthew Stafford well throughout the season.
When Sims isn’t trying to protect Stafford and open holes for Detroit’s running backs, he is either spending time with his family or cooking for them and others.
We caught up with Sims to chat about his grilling prowess for this week’s Q&A.
What’s your favorite football memory?
Rob Sims: Any time? I’d say winning the national championship in college (at Ohio State). That was big, you know. I was a true freshman. I was able to start in that game and it really defined my career collegiately, you know. I’d say that.
Defined your career as a freshman?
Sims: It put me on the map, you know what I mean. Put me on the map.
How do you feel about this guy (Rodney Austin was peering over the shoulders)?
Sims: It’s one day at a time.
What’s your favorite thing to do away from football, when you’re not playing?
Sims: Just chilling with my kids. I’ve got two young kids that are starting to come to the age where they sit down with me to watch a movie. I don’t have to run around with them. That’s a lot of fun right now. I love basketball, have season tickets for the Pistons.
Why'd you get tickets for the Pistons?
Sims: We make our home here. We are here. So us being here, with the Pistons, we feel it’s important to support other teams and we try to come to Tigers games and stuff like that.
So when you’re watching movies with your kids, is it the same movie over and over?
Sims: Oh man. Yeah. It goes in cycles. It started off with "Wreck It Ralph," when "Wreck It Ralph" came out, we were all about "Wreck It Ralph." I’m trying to get (Mikaella) to the next, "Despicable Me 2" but she doesn’t want to go from "Despicable Me 1." She kind of runs the show. I’m like, ‘Hey, do you want to watch this?’ She’d say, ‘Yeah, Daddy.’ Then, we end up watching whatever. She’ll change two or three times.
Does she understand the movies or is it, oh, cool, cartoons?
Sims: I don’t think she understands some of the little jokes they make that are adult jokes, obviously, but she’ll be running around singing the songs all the time and then my little boy, he'll be sitting there ooh and ahh over the colors.
Besides hanging out with your kids, what do you do, what’s your hobby?
Sims: I like to grill a lot. Like smoke different food. Cook, stuff like that I do a lot of.
Are you any good?
Sims: Pretty good. I think Dylan Gandy’s better, but I’m a close second.
So what’s your go-to?
Sims: The guys will come over and we’ll make ribs. We’ll do chicken wings. Me and Dylan have done like a pulled pork before. We’ve never done a brisket together. I’ve done a brisket and it’s not very good. But he’s better at it.
When did you start grilling?
Sims: My dad was real big into it. Growing up, my uncles, it was kind of a pastime of ours, rain, sleet or snow, we were always out there doing it.
Before your dad passed away, did he kind of teach you everything or did you pick it up later?
Sims: He taught me a lot of that stuff. They always had me doing a lot of that stuff, always telling me I need to get my license. It was a big joke they always had. We had fun with it.
How old were you when you first grilled?
Sims: I had to be young. Had to be early teens, you know. 13, 14 years old.
So what was your grill job as a kid?
Sims: Runner. Yeah, like, go run inside and get me this sauce. Or go inside and get me this seasoning.
What is your specialty?
Sims: My ribs are pretty good.
How do you do it?
Sims: I smoke them for an hour and a half at a low temperature, wrap them in foil and then put them back on for about an hour until they get really tender. Then I usually boil my sauce and let them sit in the sauce for a little bit and boil.
Do you make your own sauce?
Sims: No, I use some different stuff. There’s some stuff out right now, it’s called Barlow’s. It’s really good barbeque sauce.
How’d you find it?
Sims: Just being in a specialty market. Had some time to do some stuff and I ran into the guy and tasted it. Actually had the guy come to my house and cook for us one time. It was kind of cool. The guy who makes the sauce. He’s a Michigan guy.