Today, we’re officially kicking off our Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers spotlight series, and we’re doing this with a player in Alan Ball who excites us greatly! For one, he’s an NFL alum who played for the Dallas Cowboys (we grew up in Dallas, so hometown bond) and our other favorite team in the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Yes, we’re that one person outside of Jacksonville who roots for them.) Also, he has the same name as the creative genius behind Six Feet Under and True Blood. There’s a lot to like here! It’s kind of funny that he’s on the Heroes tribe given that he’s also a hybrid of that with one of the Hustlers. This is a guy who’s worked hard to get to where he is in life, and he may bring some of that same drive to the show and trying to win.
We also give Alan a ton of credit for being smart enough to grow the beard ahead of time. Nothing worse than dealing with new beard itch plus a million bug bites while out on the island.
Age – 31.
Location – He grew up in Detroit, but currently resides in Houston. Hope he’s doing okay in the aftermath of Harvey!
Bio – Alan played for multiple NFL teams before eventually retiring after a short stint in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals. After a great career, an injury finally did him in. When you consider his story, the fact that he made it as long as he did in the league is impressive — this is a defensive back selected in the seventh round, a time when many guys are forgotten or cut within a year or two. This is a very different adventure for him.
Past Survivor comparison – He doesn’t really have one per his bio (which we typically translate to mean that he’s not that familiar with the show); for us, we like that he has the self-awareness of a Jeremy Collins mixed with some of the hustle and the snark of a Rodney Lavoie Jr. from Worlds Apart. You can also easily compare him to Grant Mattos just in terms of him being an NFL player on this show who may not have a huge profile right out of the gate.
Strengths – The man is built, and regardless of whatever injuries he’s suffered we feel like he’ll be a huge asset in the challenges. Unlike some other athletes who have been on the show, we don’t think that his size is going to slow him down. He seems eager to come out and play the game, and isn’t so afraid of preserving an image or falling into stereotypes that come with being on the Heroes tribe.
Weaknesses – Well, the big one here is that he says he gets cranky when he’s hungry. This just in: It’s Survivor! You’re going to get cranky out there just because being on this show brings out the worst in everyone in terms of their emotions. He’s gotta keep that in check, and also try to hide that he’s a football player as long as he can. You never know going into a season if that group of players will hold your past financial success against you.
Pre-show prediction – Alan screams mid-jury in that he’s too big an asset to dispatch early, but we’re not sure he’s got the game savvy and knowledge to make it to the end. We think he’ll figure some stuff out as he goes along, but he’s so obvious a physical threat that he’s going to be targeted regardless of if anyone knows he’s a football star.
How well do you think that Alan Ball is going to do on Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, click here to see some of our other CarterMatt spotlights on this season. (Photo: CBS.)