January 22, 2004 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I)
NEW YORK -- Former AFL wide receiver/defensive back DAMON BOWERS recently set his sights on a new adventure, dating. Thats right, Bowers was one of the 24 bachelors on ABCs hit reality show, The Bachelorette, trying to win the heart of Americas sweetheart, Meredith.
A free agent, Bowers most recently played for the AFLs Colorado Crush, co-owned by JOHN ELWAY, in 2003. In his six-year AFL career, Bowers also played for the New York CityHawks (1998), New England SeaWolves (1999), Houston ThunderBears (2000-01), and Orlando Predators (2002). He has recorded 4,027 career all-purpose yards and 39 career touchdowns.
Although he was eliminated last night, we caught up with the eligible pro athlete to find out what really went on behind the scenes of The Bachelorette.
Q: How long have you been a fan of The Bachelorette?
DB: Actually Id never watched the show prior to me being cast. But now Im a huge fan, especially since I was on it.
Q: Was being a participant on a reality TV dating show an effort in your quest for love?
DB: Well, its much harder to find love on national television because there are a lot of prerequisites, but even though it didnt work out for me on the show, Im still looking for that special someone.
Q: What was it about Meredith that interested you?
DB: I didnt know who the bachelorette was until it was time to tape, so I didnt know anything about her prior to being on the show. Once I met her, I found that she is very classy, has a great sense of humor and is very witty. Those qualities kept me interested.
Q: Besides being a professional athlete, what set you apart from the other bachelors?
DB: Im a very real down-to-earth person. My personality is the same whether the cameras are rolling or not. Im not phony like some men may be in front of a beautiful woman and millions of viewers.
Q: How does competing against 24 guys for love differ or compare to competing against guys on the football field?
DB: Its very different because football is a sport, a competition against your opponent. Competition shouldnt be applied to love because youre searching for a connection with someone, not with the other suitors, but with the woman.
Q: Were any of the other bachelors fans of the AFL?
DB: All of the guys were sports fans, and the majority of them were familiar with the AFL. Some played college football and a few actually played in the NFL Europe League. They asked plenty of questions about the AFL rules and regulations, the players and the league itself. We all became friends because we all had that one passion. The love of sports.
Q: Does your ideal mate need to have a love of sports, especially football?
DB: No, not really. Sometimes its good to have a partner who's not a fan of the sporting world. It makes for a good conversation piece. She can ask me questions about the sport, while we watch the home team. As long as she understands and respects my passion for the game of football and can interpret it as a sport that I love, then thats all that matters.
Q: How do you feel about millions of viewers indulging in your personal dating life?
DB: I never looked at it as millions of viewers in my personal dating life. My main concern was, and is, making my family and friends proud of me and how I portray myself in front of people.
Q: What do you look for in a woman? Did Meredith fit any of these qualities?
DB: I look for spirit, passion for life, family-oriented, funny, spontaneous, and someone conscious of peoples feelings. Meredith portrayed many of these qualities and she has very good morals.
Q: How have your friends and family reacted to you being on the show?
DB: They have all been getting great laughs at my expense! To be honest, they are very happy for me. My family and friends threw a party each Wednesday, and we all gather around the TV to watch. I moved back home after the show and I had friends I havent spoken to in years who are calling and leaving me good luck messages. Being on the show is great because Im constantly reuniting with people from my past. Thats a great feeling.
Q: Would you like to be the next Bachelor?
DB: Absolutely. Id have tons of fun and at the same time be able to meet
potential soulmates. Finding love is hard. If I can find it by being the
next Bachelor, then Im all for it.