AC in the AM: 10 Questions With Anthony Fasano

Posted Oct 11, 2017

He is back for a second stint with the Dolphins, certainly more accomplished, definitely more knowledgeable and just as intent to do whatever is necessary. Anthony Fasano is a rare breed, a throwback to the days when tight ends were tough, physical, selfless players instead of the big play stat machines that so many are today.

“Blocking,” Fasano says, “is a dying art.”

Little wonder Coach Adam Gase calls Fasano “the ultimate pro.”

After a recent practice session, Fasano slowly took off his shoulder pads, leaned against his locker and answered 10 questions that paints an impressive picture, questions about everything from the addiction center he started to his favorite play of all time, a play that granted the wish of a dying little boy.

1. You played for the Dolphins from 2008 through 2012 and now you are back. Other than the obvious differences with new coaches and teammates, can you pinpoint other things that are different now?

AF: It’s a younger culture, a more competitive culture. Facilities are better. Stadium is better. Attention to detail is better. I have good memories from my time here before. I’m just making more memories now.

2. How have you changed both as a person and a player since you were last here?

AF: On the field, I’m much more experienced. I have a better understanding of everything that is going on and why it’s going on. I feel I haven’t lost anything as a player either. Off the field, my life has really come together. I got married and we have a little girl Florence, 18 months old. I’m a family man now.

3. But you never really left South Florida did you?

AF: No I didn’t. We have a home in Fort Lauderdale and this is where I returned every offseason. My wife is from Florida and we have a lot of friends here. I plan on staying for a long, long time.

4. There was a play you made when you were last here that I’ll never forget. It was December of 2008 and the Dolphins were in Kansas City, needing a win to continue an improbable rise to the AFC East title. The wind chill was minus 12. The score was tied at 31. Chad Pennington hit you on a short pass over the middle and you made an incredible catch to give the Dolphins a 38-31 victory. How well do you remember that play?

AF: Yeah, I remember it well. It was a little one-handed catch behind my back. I wasn’t trying to be flashy; I was just trying to catch the ball any way I could. We went on the next week to beat the Jets in New York for the AFC East title. Considering the situation and the weather, it was about as big as it gets.

5. Adam Gase said he was surprised how well you catch the ball because you have earned a reputation as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. How have you gained that reputation?

AF: I just put it on film every chance I get. This is what my role has morphed into over the last few years and I’ve really embraced it. Blocking has almost become a dying art in this league. I take pride in it. That’s my role. I have figured out through time in this league that the more a player embraces his role, the more successful that player is going to be. So I truthfully thrive off my reputation as a blocker.

6. You founded the Next Chapter Treatment Addiction facility in 2015 in Delray Beach. What caused you do that and what does it mean to you?

AF: I had a family member struggling with addiction. He was able to get through it and become healthy and then started working in the addiction field. I wanted to be a part of helping other people with addictions so we started the treatment facility together. It has really evolved over the last two years. For me, the title of Next Chapter has a dual meaning because it is the next chapter in so many of these people’s lives and it will be the next chapter in my life because when I’m done playing that’s where my efforts will be. We’ve treated 121 patients so far and our success rate is awfully good. I’m proud to be a part of it.

7. Tell us something about Anthony Fasano that would surprise people to know?

AF: I love to cook. In fact, if football didn’t work out and I didn’t get a scholarship, I might have ended up in culinary school. I grew up in a house where we didn’t go out to dinner very often so there was a lot of home cooking and it helped me value food and appreciate it. We took some cooking courses in Italy so I’m pretty good at Italian food, but I really take in pride in cooking on the grill, smoking meats and things like that.

8. With that in mind, it is the offseason and there is no weigh-in coming up. What’s the one food or meal that you can’t eat enough of?

AF: Probably my mom’s sausage and peppers or lasagna. My wife is still in the perfection process, but she’s getting there. My mom’s Italian food I can eat all day.

9. Is there a play in your football career that will always stand out in your mind?

AF: There are a few, but there’s one real special play I’ll never forget. It was in 2005 while I was at Notre Dame. We were playing at Washington. The play was called pass right. Charlie Weiss was the coach. He visited a child dying of cancer a week before the game in the hospital. Charlie gave him the option of calling the first play in the game. He said to go with a pass right. We got backed up on our first possession so our opening play was from our own 1-yard line, not exactly where you want to call a pass right. But Charlie still called the play. I caught the ball, hurdled a defender and turned it into a nice gain for a first down. Unfortunately, the child died the Friday before the game, but it was so cool to be a part of that and such a nice gesture by our coach.

10. Finally, you are 33 years old. What do you hope your teammates and your fans say about your career when it’s over?

AF: That I maximized my potential. That I gave everything I had and that I was a good teammate. And that I had a lot of fun doing it. Actually, I may be having more fun now than ever.

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