theParklander

After Superbowl Memories
By Jordan Haghighi / November, December 2012

A Superbowl ring is a prize only obtained by the select few. Thirty-two teams compete every year with the slight chance of being able to wear the ring and call themselves champions of the world.

Lional Dalton, a ten-year veteran of the National Football League (NFL), was fortunate enough to have worked so hard and had that opportunity. "Playing and winning the Superbowl in 2000 is probably my most memorable game and high point of my career," said Dalton, who lives in Boca Raton.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, he had always known he wanted to play in the NFL. "I was eight years old when I started dreaming about playing professional football," said Dalton.

En route to pursue his NFL dream, he played two years for Eastern Michigan University. Recording 116 tackles and four sacks in his college career, he knew he was NFL-ready. After not being selected in the 1998 NFL draft and becoming a rookie free agent, this six-foot, one-inch tall, 317-pound defensive tackle was approached by the Baltimore Ravens.

It would prove to be a wise decision for both parties, as Dalton prospered within a Hall of Fame defense, playing alongside side players like Ray Lewis, Rod Woodson and Sam Adams, and helping the team become Superbowl champions.

After his 2001 season, Dalton moved around the league, playing for the Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, where he played his last NFL game in 2006. It was his time in Kansas City, where he felt he connected most with his NFL coach. "He listened to the players and was able to have a personal relationship with each individual," said Dalton.

He is referring to long-time coach, Dick Vermeil, who has always shown a true passion for, not only the game, but for the players. "He took care of us every day," said Dalton.

Since 2006, this football superstar has occupied his time tackling new ventures, such as managing his salon business in Fort Lauderdale and supporting his wife in her career. One of Dalton's biggest ventures is his non-profit organization, called "Kids Power Play." Located in Boca Raton, the organization was founded in 2008 and designed to help overweight children live a healthier lifestyle. "We provide trainers and fitness programs as an after-school program and help to encourage kids to live healthy and eat healthy," said Dalton.

Having the nickname "Jelly Rolls" throughout high school, because he had an obsession with sweets and cake, Dalton, a vegetarian, tries to keep his diet in check by eating a lot of fish and complex carbohydrates. Cake is still a favorite food. He knows what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle: "To stay in shape, I do Pilates, yoga, and a lot of cardio. I try and do some weight training, only to focus on muscle endurance and prevent injury."

After having gone through his NFL career and obtaining one of sport's most difficult trophies, Dalton is still humbled and always looking to improve himself, as well as the community around him. "After finishing my career, I always want to be remembered as a team player, good teammate and unselfish person," he said.




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