steven-jackson-10things-story

S-Jax at 30: Fresh Start

New Falcon Steven Jackson on taking less money for a shot at a ring, how he’s grown and why education is his mantra

1. I think turning 30, which I did yesterday, feels like the perfect combination of maturity and youth. I realize how much I love to compete, and how much I love playing a child’s game for a king’s ransom.

2. I think people who think 30-year-old backs are going downhill do not know me.

3. I think leaving money on the table and choosing the Falcons in free agency over the Rams was about one thing and one thing only: wanting to win a championship. Money comes and goes. What makes me happy now, I realize, are family and friends and having the best chance to win a title. Those are things money can’t buy.

4. I think five years ago there’s no way I’d have left that money on the table.

5. I think one of the big reasons I chose Atlanta was Arthur Blank, the owner. We met for a two-hour lunch. Out of that two hours, 15 minutes were about how many first downs I could make for him. Most of it was about the things I’m doing off the field in St. Louis and in my hometown, Las Vegas. That meant a lot to me—more than anyone would think. I want to work for a man who wants to know the things I’m going to do beside running with the football.

6. I think anything is possible in life with faith and a work ethic. You can’t be a complete person without both.

7. I think the reason why I talk about education all the time, and how vital literacy is, goes back to second grade, when my teacher told me I’d never be an above-average reader. I was very shy, and I struggled with reading. When I came upon a word I didn’t know, I’d guess or speak under my breath like I was scared. At the time I was a little bit of a beaten-down kid. I am so lucky my mother and father put me in an after-school reading program. They invested in my life. And it paid off. I had a 3.1 GPA at Oregon State. I love learning new things.

8. I think the hardest hit I ever took was from Lawyer Milloy when I was a rookie. I was used to overpowering kids in college, so I was running straight up. It was a cold December game in Buffalo, and there were maybe two yards left between me and the goal line. He hit me so hard I thought I was going to swallow my mouthpiece. That taught me a wise lesson: lower your shoulder pads.

9. I think I love football because it brings so many different kinds of people together. It’s like life itself.

10. I think I love art. All kinds of art. And if you come into my new home in Las Vegas, the thing that will probably make you stop and stare is a piece I had commissioned by an artist named Michael Kalish. It’s huge, three wide panels, maybe four feet high by 16 feet wide. It’s The Last Supper made entirely of license plates. I love it.

(Courtesy of Steven Jackson)

12 comments
luvfoozball
luvfoozball

Awesome guy. Awesome football player.

I love it when athletes understand the importance of education.

jimaa66
jimaa66

Packers fan here. I take what freedomsmouth says and x 10 it. I was so excited when I heard they were going after him, and was crushed when we didn't land him. A spectacular athlete. A genuine person. A great man.

I wish him well, but feel he still may make us regret our lack of closure on that deal.

Love this new mmqb site...

freedomsmouth
freedomsmouth

Saints fan here.  The Falcons signing of Steven Jackson, in my opinion, was the scariest thing to happen during the offseason.  He will make the Falcons a more formidable team.  Looking forward to our games against the Falcons.

Kane337
Kane337

SJax is a great guy. Looking forward to seeing him do great things for the Falcons. 

Great idea getting players to do the 10 "I think". 

ThomasJones1
ThomasJones1 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

SJax is going to be a beast on the field with this team in '13. He still has a lot left. We're Gonna miss him in STL though. Great person off the field too. Last season after the Rams scrimmage I took my 4 boys to get autographs outside the stadium players exit area. Rams had a buffet set up for the players to grab some chow before getting on the bus. SJax was in line piling his plate while we all screamed (nicely) for autographs. SJax puts down his plate of food and proceeds to sign every autograph. By the time he finished it was time for the busses to leave so he didn't even get to eat his food. My boys worship the guy and as a dad he already had my respect as a true football warrior, but earned an even higher level of respect for being an outright cool dude.

DannyCarrao
DannyCarrao

Like the perspective of this from the players - good job...

andysyun
andysyun like.author.displayName 1 Like

I hope we (the Rams) win the title. If that's not to be, then I'll be happy to see Stephen win one. I want everyone to see just how good of a player he really is.

Craig
Craig like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Gotta agree with working for Arthur Blank.  I worked for him...and he's probably the classiest man I've ever had the privilege to work for.  He didn't worry about how I did stuff, he worried about me...and about how I treated our customers.  He trusted me...and told me one simple direction:  You are authorized to do what's right.  Never got second guessed either.  Steven, I loved you playing for my Beavers, and followed you during the years with the Rams.  You will love playing for Arthur, and I'm glad you and Quizz ended up together.  Class acts, all of you.

eddie767
eddie767

Started liking him after he was man enough/bold enough to video his bowel cleansing. That showed he'll do whatever it took to be a healthy person not just athlete. I'm a Skins fan,wish we had him,but great pickup for Falcons.

danp1010
danp1010

Never really cared for Stephen Jackson, he played for a "wrong" team :) But whoever thinks his tank is empty does not know football, seems like a really good guy, definitely ultimate pro, good luck in Atlanta.

MicahThoughtlife
MicahThoughtlife like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

That Last Supper portrait is something special. Wow. I like this ten things idea from players. Good idea.

Eddie_49ers
Eddie_49ers like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

I really hope this will be a regular feature and we get to read more like this from other players. 

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