September’s on the calendar. Back east where I’m from, there’s just a hint of a chill in the night air. Yes, it’s football time! Here in my great, adopted hometown of New Orleans, people are bringing out their black and gold. And, wherever you are, there’s a certain smell in the air because football season is kicking off.
Around here we say division games count double because when you beat a division rival, you win one, they lose one and you go two games up. We’ll see pretty quickly where our team stands.
Hey everyone! I’m Saints DB Malcolm Jenkins. I’m from Rock Avenue, Piscataway, New Jersey. This season, I’ll be blogging from New Orleans where they say, “laissez les bon temps rouler”—let the good times roll. So this week let’s talk about the upcoming NFL season and my Ohio State Buckeyes, my men’s accessory line “Rock Avenue” and my foundation’s annual fundraiser.
The season opener is always crazy because Saints fans have been waiting the entire offseason for football. I’ve got a feeling this year is going to be special. And we kick off with our division rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, in our home opener in the Superdome, with the return of our great coach Sean Payton. The Dome is going to be electric. Then our second game is against another division rival, Tampa Bay, so we’ve got to get off to a really fast start.
Around here we say division games count double because when you beat a division rival, you win one, they lose one and you go two games up. We’ll see pretty quickly where our team stands. Our division doesn’t really have any catchy nickname or anything, but what it does have is a lot of talent—think Cam Newton in Carolina, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan in Atlanta, and now Darrelle Revis in Tampa… all Pro Bowlers. So, bring it on!
This is a big season for both the team and me personally. Last year was obviously rough for the Saints without our head coach. I’m feeling comfortable at safety and want to put my best stuff out there and hopefully have another Pro Bowl caliber season.
On defense, we want to have a team that people are afraid of, a team that can hit you hard, play well on third down, take the ball away from you and help win football games.
I was blessed to win a Super Bowl (XLIV) in my rookie year. And we all realize how tough it is to get back there. The regular season is important because it’s all about getting into the playoffs with a high seed. But once you get there, everything starts off new, and it’s about winning one game at a time.
Super Bowl XLVIII, next February, just happens to be at MetLife Stadium. It would be great to get back to the title game in my home state of New Jersey. It may be a little cold then but I won’t be complaining too much. Like every year, we want to get to the big game… and win it!
Now, I’m a huge fan of my alma mater, Ohio State. Here in my office, I’m surrounded by scarlet and gray. Despite going 12-0 last season, the Buckeyes’ NCAA sanctions kept us from competing for the BCS title. This year, we’re returning more than a dozen starters, including very talented quarterback Braxton Miller. Urban Meyer has them all geared up, and they obviously have the talent to run the table again, so it’s a matter of staying hungry week in, week out. Go Buckeyes!
During the season, I’ll be talking about music and food in New Orleans, and also about what motivated me to create my cool men’s accessory line, Rock Avenue Bow Ties. For me, the thing about fashion is that you can wear pretty much anything as long as you wear it with confidence.
Last but not least, if you’re in town, come have some fun by attending my foundation’s second annual fundraiser, Taste Of New Orleans, on September 23*. It’s a food and wine tasting event with delicious dishes from local restaurants being matched with great wines, plus authentic local bands. There are various sponsorship levels and it all helps young people develop leadership and service skills.
—As told to Ashley Jude Collie
*For more info about the fundraiser, contact Wink Design & Events: firstname.lastname@example.org, 504-366-8063