You were a South Carolina kid and ended up going to school at North Carolina. How'd that come about?
The whole time, I always wanted to go to North Carolina. I was a big Lawrence Taylor and Michael Jordan fan. But, at first, it was looking like I'd go to Clemson. I never liked the (South Carolina) Gamecocks for whatever reason. At that time, North Carolina was No. 4 in the nation and everything was clicking. I had to go there.
Of course, Carolina is known as a basketball school. Are you a big basketball fan?
Absolutely. I loved that about the school. I'm a huge basketball fan.
Was that a bonus for you?
Oh, definitely. Especially in my (freshman) year. That was during the NBA lockout, so all the guys (UNC alumni) were on campus. That was the first time I met Michael Jordan. They'd be there playing basketball every day. And, because Julius (Peppers) was my roommate, I'd go down to the gym with him all the time and hang out.
So, what's it like watching a pickup game of NBA All-Stars?
It was amazing. It was Antawn Jamison, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Jerry Stackhouse — all the name guys. Rasheed Wallace, too. It was basically a North Carolina-Duke type of thing. There was no NBA season, so they were all hanging out on campus. That was the first time I saw how competitive (Jordan) is. He almost got in a fight over a pickup game.
Well, speaking of UNC basketball, they're ranked No. 1 right now. Can they win it all this season?
I definitely think so. They have one of the best teams since that UNLV team that went undefeated (in 1991) and had all those lottery picks.
This is a weekly question: What Web site do you think you visit most?
Anything that has to do with movies and shopping. That's my thing. I like to see what movies are new and about to come out. And with shopping, I like to say I'm the fliest guy over 300 (pounds) in the league. I have to represent for the big guys. We're not all big and sloppy.
So, you're a movie buff?
Big time. I go to movies at least twice a week by myself just because I like to go.
Do you have a favorite actor?
I have a few. I really like Denzel (Washington), Jamie Foxx. But I'm also a big Quentin Tarantino fan. A brilliant guy. And I like the James Bond movies.
Okay, as for your stylish side, how would you describe your style?
Well, I think my swagger level is up there on the same level as Diddy or James Bond. I try to keep it fresh. I see what the little guys are wearing and see if I can get it in my size.
So, how hard is it for big guys to shop?
It's real tough. The big-and-tall store is really for like the 45-year-old white guy. You just have to search. A lot of stuff I wear, other big guys will ask me, "Yo, where did you get that?" It's just from doing a lot of work searching on the Internet. Luckily, my feet are kind of small. I can wear a 13. So, I can get me a pair of Guccis or Louis (Vuittons).
My other weekly question is what's playing the most on your iPod?
Right now, I'm listening to a lot of (rapper) Young Jeezy and some of the more grown-up hip-hop, like Jay-Z. And I've been listening a lot to (soul singer) Robin Thicke. I need that cool, mellow sound every now and then.
Would anything on your iPod surprise anyone?
I think so. I like (rockers) Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie for pregame. Those are some wild cats. I don't really understand what they're saying, but I like the beat.
What's the purpose behind the Ryan Sims Foundation?
It's to raise money for cancer research. It started because one of my family members came down with colon cancer. It was totally out of the blue. This person had never been sick. So, we were trying to find information on cancer, and it's hard to find information on cancers other than lung cancer and breast cancer. But the more I started reading, the more prolific I realized cancer is. It's very preventable if it's detected early. That's been my whole kick: We have to get this information out.
So, what's Thanksgiving like at your house?
I have a full house. My mom, my dad, my sister. Usually my son is here, too.
And what's on the menu?
A honey-baked ham, a fried turkey, some mac and cheese and some giblet gravy. I don't think people here know nothing about that. It's got eggs, turkey broth, some turkey meat, I believe it also has some chicken liver cut up in it. It's some good ol' country food. I think it probably has about 1,000 calories per teaspoon.
Shopping is no small task for 6-foot-4, 315-pound defensive tackle Ryan Sims. But that doesn't stop this huge Tar Heels hoops fan from looking just as "fly" as his more svelte teammates.