Yo people, JStew’s in the house, and guess what? We’ve been going full-out since the end of July and now with the bye week, we get a long weekend off. So let’s talk college football, career milestones, fatherhood and what I like in a young lady!
You may not believe this, but since we don’t go back to work till Monday, this weekend I’ll get to be a Ducks’ football fan and attend my first Oregon regular season game. The first Ducks’ game I could ever watch since college was last season’s BCS National Championship against Auburn. Because of my pro commitments, I’ve never even watched a home game at Autzen Stadium! Anyway, we’re playing the U. of Washington in Seattle this Saturday, and it’s perfect timing to go back home to Washington and be able to hang with some friends. I’m looking forward to a pretty fun experience.
The main thing about bye week is resting your body, clearing your mind, and getting away from the game for a bit. This time off is really important, and it landed right smack dab in the middle of our schedule. Hopefully, we’ll come back refreshed and try to go 8-0 down the stretch—that’s what a winning mindset is all about. It’ll be like a second season for us. But apart from that, it’s just like anybody else’s job. That’s why there are holidays—we all need a break from the reality of what we deal with on a daily basis, both mentally and physically.
I’ve been told that I recently passed 3,000 yards in career rushing. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to play a lot of games—I’ve only missed two the last three years—so to reach that milestone is pretty cool. My goal is to continue working towards being a great player and hopefully that will mean even more yards coming my way, but the main focus is for the team to win football games. That’s more important to me than individual marks.
Another thing I just learned is that, according to the NFLPA, the average NFL career is just 3.6 years. Talk about “Not For Long!” Whether it’s practice or games, they always say you’re one snap away from your last. You never really know what can happen given the intensity, the competitiveness and danger of the sport. People are fortunate to play 10 years like my All-Pro teammates Steve Smith and Jeremy Shockey,. I just hope I get the opportunity to play as long as they have.
Remember Bengals’ running back Ickey Woods and his TD celebration, the Ickey Shuffle? His rushing helped get him a Sports Illustrated cover and his team into Super Bowl XXIII in his rookie year, 1988. But he was out of football by 1991. You just never know.
I recently saw Courageous, an awesome movie I encourage every guy to see. It’s about four police officers in Georgia and they handle danger on a daily basis while maintaining a structure within their families. It’s about how important it is to be a husband and father, lead your family in the right direction, and have the courage to stand up for what you believe in when others around you may not. Even though it focuses on fatherhood, it’s still an entertaining movie about being the best person you can be.
On a related note, there’s a new version of Don Trip’s tune, Letter to My Son, featuring Cee Lo. I like it because it’s about a young man expressing how much he wants to be a father to his son. You don’t often hear that nowadays. Fatherhood’s not on the horizon for me right now, but one day, if I find that right young lady and we get married, I’d definitely like to be a father.
And what am I looking for in that lady? I don’t like too much makeup ’cause I like the natural beauty of a lady. In my view, she has to have morals and beliefs similar to mine and good common sense. She also has to be motivated and comfortable with who she is as a woman. She’d have to pass all those things before she gets to meet my Mom!
Alright, I gotta go get ready to catch my Ducks, but I’ll leave you with a quote: “Don’t just wait out the storm. Learn to dance and sing in it, even if you’re looked at as being crazy for doing it!”
—As told to Ashley Jude Collie