The Xbox 360 Experience with Brandon Jacobs
Everyone always tells me that I have a great job and most of the time I say it's fun but behind all the game playing and product testing there's a lot of hard work. Today, I readily agree that this is a dream job - because I just came home from sitting down with Brandon Jacobs and my father (the biggest Giants fan I know) and chatting.
The scene was a lovely Upper East Side apartment and our hosts, Dave and Laura, were more than gracious. Interestingly, Dave and I are both into audio equipment and wine so we got along well. The whole event was around promoting the relationship between Netflix and Xbox Live:
To celebrate the launch of the New Xbox Experience, Brandon Jacobs and his family will be attending a New Xbox Experience movie night at the home of one lucky New York City family. They will be one of the first to experience the next evolution of home entertainment by screening their favorite movie instantly on Xbox 360 through the power of Xbox LIVE.
This was one of the few events where I got to sit down and interview a sports figure at length. Rarely does an interview last long enough for me to run out of questions. Brandon is a well-spoken, soft-spoken even, thoughtful, and polite guy to talk to. Everything seemed like fair game and our conversation covered a lot of ground. I recorded it, but there was a lot of background noise so I probably won't podcast the audio nor will I attempt to transcribe it word for word.
I will, however, share some of the most important parts of the discussion.
Firstly, we can all stop worrying about his knee. He's fine, 100%, and looking forward to returning to Arizona. I said that I was glad to hear that his knee is fine so he can keep on running over the guys who try to tackle him. And he said, "Oh yeah. Just ask Ray Lewis."
Now, I remember the play he's talking about on the goal line last Sunday. He got the carry and burst into the hole. Ray Lewis, an all-star linebacker in his own right, zero'ed in on Brandon, but went high and missed. I remember thinking that it was strange that such an accomplished linebacker would try to arm tackle a 6'4" 240lb running back. In Brandon's words, "He didn't want to tackle me. He saw me coming and knew what he needed to do but he didn't want any part of it."
Those are some strong words from a surprisingly quiet guy. We continued to talk. He loves to play the old Nintendo games. He loves 007 on N64 and Mario, both of which he says he plays with his wife. Like most NFL players I speak to, he thinks that EA has his stats all wrong in Madden and that in reality he's much better.
We somehow talked about philosophy a little. We talked about how the lessons he's learned on the field have influenced his life. He said that he firmly believes giving 100% all the time. Don't leave anything behind, have no regrets, go for everything you think you can do. The worst thing that a person can do is walk off the field after a game (or walk out of the office after a hard day) and think to himself that he knows he could've done better. Do your best and then accept the outcome. If you want to change the outcome, then work hard to improve it for the next time. Really a good, solid message.