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After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; His accomplishments at the time of his retirement spoke for themselves: six Pro Bowl appearances, third all-time among NFL sack leaders, six times All-Pro, and the crowning achievement, Super Bowl champion. John McCusker, The Times-Picayune Rickey Jackson struggled through the ...

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Old 08-05-2010, 06:48 AM   #1
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His accomplishments at the time of his retirement spoke for themselves: six Pro Bowl appearances, third all-time among NFL sack leaders, six times All-Pro, and the crowning achievement, Super Bowl champion.

John McCusker, The Times-Picayune
Rickey Jackson struggled through the first few years after football, in part because he was dealing with the death of his mother at that time.
That last noteworthy event, however, came as a member of the New Orleans Saints' most hated NFC West rival, the San Francisco 49ers, a sad footnote to the franchise's listlessness of that era, when the 49ers were the team by which greatness was measured, and, sadly for the Saints, the one in the same division that annually seemed to be standing in New Orleans' path to success.
"That was the history of the Saints," said former NFL player Hugh Green, who spent four years rooming with Rickey Jackson at the University of Pittsburgh, where the two forged a lifelong bond that thrives today. "The greatest players who ever came through there, the Saints traded away. It was business for them, and they looked at things like a business. All the great players want a team that's going to put people around you to make you better."
As good as the Saints' defense was during the final seven years of Jackson's time in New Orleans, which resulted in then-unprecedented seven consecutive non-losing seasons and four postseason appearances, all losses, New Orleans could not get over the hump.
Jackson's free-agency exit to San Francisco enabled him to take that final on-the-field step of success, winning a title, which provided until now the professional satisfaction for which all players strive.

"He did have the opportunity to go to San Francisco and get a Super Bowl," Green said, "and a lot of guys don't get that opportunity. That's the chief factor in the league: If you don't have a ring, what does it mean?"
Norma Williams Jackson, who was married to Jackson for 13 years and bore three of his nine children, was a hometown sweetheart in Pahokee, Fla., and opened her heart to Jackson and home to all of his children when the couple lived in Destrehan during his time with the Saints.
After the couple divorced in 1996, she watched as Jackson left his final association with the Saints as a sometimes assistant coach under Mike Ditka, after a failed attempt to come out of retirement and resume his playing career under Ditka in 1997. That was one year after Jackson had been feted in the Superdome in a ceremony in which his Saints' number 57 was affixed to the stadium wall.
"From what I could tell," Norma Jackson said, "he stayed around New Orleans for a while, and I think he coached with Mike Ditka for a time, so he was around football. He came full circle. He had a good career and he got his Super Bowl. I think he was fulfilled in that respect."
But Jackson's beloved mother, Leila Pearl Jones Lawson, had been incapacitated by a stroke, and was living in a nursing home, her health deteriorating.
It wasn't easy for Jackson, the youngest of five children, who'd always had a special bond with the woman who raised her kids as a single parent and had mapped out a life plan for each: athletics for the two boys, teaching for the three girls.
"He concentrated on her a whole lot," Norma Jackson said. "He was visiting her a lot there in Pahokee. He was the baby of five, and his mom raised him as a single parent. She was always there, always at his game. When I asked him why he got out of coaching, he said, ÔI've got to stay close to my mom. I don't know when she might go, so I want to be here.' "
In 2006, Jackson's mother, Leila, died. She was 67.
"I came back to Pahokee for my mother," Jackson said of those days shortly after his football playing and coaching life ceased, and his adjustment to the real world began in earnest. "I was always a guy who was never looking for a whole lot. I was never looking for much. I said God always blessed me with a lot.
"(His mother's illness and eventual death) affected me, made me come back home. I thought she was too young. But that was life. I got into the church, and it helped me to see some stuff. Once you get with God, he begins to show you that everything here you're going to leave. Don't be taking anything on earth you think you're going to leave with. That helped me out a lot.
"Toward the end of (his mother's) life, I got with a good church. Once I did that, and started reading the bible, it really helped me out. The Bible Church of God. I was raised in the Church of God in Pahokee. They're about the same. The word is the same, the music is different. God is God."
During the time Jackson was dealing with his mother's illness, he was also dealing with a legal issue regarding unpaid child support of reportedly more than $150,000 for the youngest of his nine kids, Tyler.
Jackson's name appeared at the top of the list of about 60,000 individuals identified by the Louisiana Department of Social Services, labeled deadbeat dads because of unpaid child support.
Jackson fathered three children with his wife, Norma: Rickeyah, 26, Rickeem, 21 and Rickeyvis, 19. He has six others: Tamara, 32, Brandy, 30, Rickey Jr., 31, Javin, 26, Richard 20 and Tyler, 14, four of those by different mothers.
He has addressed the child support issues and now is no longer listed on the Department of Social Services website as an individual in arrears.
"My thing is that was blown out of proportion," Jackson said recently. "Me and my kids have always been tight. I've always been in their life. I don't know. Sometimes, I wonder now, being with Tyler, how stuff like that went down like that. That was a bunch of mess. If it was so bad, why didn't I get arrested? You know guys owe $10,000 and they get arrested.
"Being an athlete coming up, all my kids were young, when I was young . . . . my daddy's got 20-something kids, and I've got nine. That's one thing I tried to always say I wasn't going to follow him with. I know we're a lot alike, but I tried to stay out of it. I got burned at times I shouldn't have. I chalk it up as something I did wrong."
Rickeyah Jackson, one of two individuals Jackson considered to present him at his enshrinement in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday (he chose Saints owner Tom Benson), is especially close to her father. Mom Norma said that is because Rickey was present for her premature birth, seven months early.
"She was 4 pounds when she was born," Norma Jackson said, "and it was his very first time witnessing something like that. He told me, ÔThis is the first time I've ever been through anything like that.' She wrapped her little fingers around his pinkie finger and they've been tight ever since."
It is a bond Rickeyah obviously enjoys, caring for her father and his football legacy.
"We're very much alike," Rickeyah said. "I'm stubborn like he is ... all of his ways, the good, the bad and the ugly. He's very kind-hearted, but very strong-willed, which can be a good thing and a bad thing because of his stubbornness. But he's got a very humble spirit.
"He had to go through a time when he had to find himself, so to speak. Because football wasn't there any more. I'm happy now that he's doing well and back on track. That was a very humbling experience for him too. That, and finding Christ, that helped him to where now he does have the Hall of Fame, he appreciates it more. When he lost his mom, who was his everything, I think it put a lot of things into perspective. It showed him different priorities, how to live better and do better."
But Rickeyah said firmly 1/3 sentiments echoed by her mother, Norma 1/3 that Jackson has always been a good, financially supportive father.
"All of us were well-taken care of," Rickeyah said. "It was an issue with one person, one of the nine. It's all been resolved."
Said Norma: "He was an excellent father. My children are very protective of him. We always had the other children visit us. At one time, his oldest daughter lived in New Orleans with us and went to one of the middle schools in Destrehan. He's always been hands-on with all of his children, which is why I was so shocked when all this other stuff came out. He's hands-on, financially supportive with all of his children."
Today, Jackson's life, and his finances, seem to be in good order.
With his imminent induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in Canton, Ohio, his popularity, and the demands on his time, is soaring in the form of personal appearances and autograph sessions.
He signs: Rickey Jackson, 57, HOF 2010.
His business, Mr. Saints Petroleum Company of Metairie, which sells diesel fuel, gasoline and oil to firms large and small, was formed a year ago and provides a steady income, while his charity foundation, Rickey Jackson's Friends Forever, aids young people in and around the area.
The foundation's mission statement: "To improve the quality of life and remove barriers that prevent youths from succeeding. It is that goal that helps us to work for inner city youths through a working partnership with other youth organizations. Through the Rickey Jackson's Friends Forever Foundation, we will provide financial and community support to assist in making the dreams of inner city youths become a reality."
"I've known him all of my life," Norma Jackson said. "I know he's turned out so well, and I know his mom would be so proud.
"Rickey is a good guy on the inside. Always. And a lot of times, even when you don't want him to, he's going to help his fellow man. Even when you don't think the other person might deserve it. He doesn't hold a grudge. I always tell my kids to use him as an example."
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:22 AM   #2
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Re: After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

Ricky is one of my favorite Saints of all-time...he really played the game with intensity...the way it is suppose to be played, IMO.

This part caught my eye, however, in that it simply reiterates what I had been complaining about for about 38 years or so.

Originally Posted by HughGreen
"That was the history of the Saints," said former NFL player Hugh Green, who spent four years rooming with Rickey Jackson at the University of Pittsburgh, where the two forged a lifelong bond that thrives today. "The greatest players who ever came through there, the Saints traded away. It was business for them, and they looked at things like a business. All the great players want a team that's going to put people around you to make you better."
That's the way I felt all the way with this franchise right up to the point where they drafted Reggie Bush. I felt like this was an indication that Benson now had enough money and was finally ready to win. I suppose it could have been Rita...but whatever...I liked it, and I don't think it was a coinkydink that we finally became a champion.

I like to think that we humiliated Benson into winning...but the knowledge that his franchise was now worth around a billion dollars probably helped.

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Old 08-05-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

ditto, LB, ditto
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:06 AM   #4
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Re: After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

Agree w LB.

Maybe even Benson "learned from his mistakes"... Maybe the combo of Loomis and Payton finally got Benson in the right frame of mind?
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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Re: After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

Yeah I always thought of Benson as a used car dealer..........he would sell players at their prime and pocket the money. I think Rita has different idea about how to make money. Make the team a winner and the money will come flowing back.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:17 PM   #6
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Re: After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

same here with all of you,
the combination of rita, payton and loomis. theres the hof train.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

Glad to read he got that alimony stuff sorted out and that he does well as a businessman.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:01 PM   #8
 
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Re: After football, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson learned from his mistakes

For Saints, Jackson, Wait For HOF Finally Over - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports
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