"I was approached by Indy Star and some guys last year about doing a show, but coming off of injury from 2013, I really wanted to focus on the field. And I was able to focus on the field and have a great year. And so this year, they approached me again like, 'Hey, Dwayne, we would love to have you.' And I was just like, 'Yeah, let's do this. And if we're going to do it, we're going to do it right. We're going to be the best at it.'"
The Dwayne Allen Show debuts on Tuesday nights this season at 7:00. You can catch the live webcast on IndyStar.com and Fox59.com. A portion of the show will also air live on Fox 59. Joining Allen on set every week will be Fox 59 Sports Director Chris Hagan and Indy Star columnist Gregg Doyel.
Hagan says Allen's personality, football insight, and life experience should make for a great host. Like many guys in the league, Allen is more than just a football player. And he thinks fans will enjoy seeing a different side of him.
"He's not like the stereotypical brute or dumb jock that plays football. He's a very introspective guy, he's a voracious reader, and has a background that is a lot different from a lot of folks," he says. "He doesn't come from a background of privilege. And just the way he's kept that positive attitude throughout some really tough times in his life is what's made him the man he is today."
It's impossible to talk about the man Dwayne Allen is today without mentioning service and giving back. Because, as he says, "I live to serve." And using his show as a platform to match people with causes is one more way for him to do that.
"We're going to talk football, we're going to talk current events, we're going to talk different interests that I have, and then most importantly, we're going to talk about different nonprofits and different ways for people to give back around the city."
Asked if he's following in the footsteps of teammate Pat McAfee, host of the Indy Star's Pat McAfee Show in 2013 before moving to WTHR in 2014, Allen denied it. "God definitely broke the mold, shattered, burned, incinerated, got rid of the mold after they made Patrick McAfee. So, it's impossible," he says.
But he couldn't deny the Colts punter has been a source of inspiration for him.
"McAfee is an entertainer. He is a comedian. He is an icon in the city of Indianapolis. And he's beginning to build his brand outside of that. And to have the opportunity to just continue to learn from a distance from him with his different ways of communicating and reaching out, stuff like that, is all I can ask for."
Allen says for him, stepping behind the broadcast desk is not so much about life after the NFL as exploring life outside the NFL.
"I'm 25 years old. I have no idea what I want to do past football, but I'm thankful for the people around me who've encouraged me to explore different things. Who have awakened the intellectual curiosity and cultural curiosity in me to get outside the box and really experiment with different things."
But make no mistake. Right now, Dwayne Allen is focused on one thing: football.
Sidelined for most of the 2013 season with a hip injury, Allen made a brave comeback in 2014 and together with teammate Coby Fleener, became the first tight end duo in NFL history with eight touchdowns apiece. Allen's teammates selected him as the Colts' recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.
"The show, I'm excited about it. But that's 30 minutes out of my week. All the other time will be focused on making sure that I am the best tight end in the National Football League."
Whether on the field or on the set, there's only one way Dwayne Allen knows how to succeed.
"All I can do is go out and be me."
And his fans wouldn't have it any other way.
Because Dwayne Allen being Dwayne Allen is what made them fans in the first place.