Jacob Green pursues the quarterback, as he often did as a Seahawk.
As each year passes since the final time Jacob Green suited up for a football game, the memories become less vivid and more scattered. Some have been stripped from his mind altogether, while a precious few are etched in his memory as if being played back on a video screen. He can still see Curt Warner breaking a 60-yard run on his first carry as a Seattle Seahawk. He can still remember Steve Largent catching the game-winning touchdown pass to beat the Miami Dolphins and propel the Seahawks to what would become their only trip to the AFC championship game. And who could forget the Monday Night Football appearance when Kenny Easley intercepted three passes in a game that saw the Seahawks shut out San Diego?
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Jacob Carl Green Jr. didn't have to look far to find a role model for life. The father who gave young Jacob his own name was always there for him, always providing the blueprint for how to become a man. And there was never any doubt that Jacob Green Sr. was proud of the son who carried his name. If Junior was doing something particularly impressive, Jacob Sr. would stick out his chest and boast: "Chip off the old block." It was the best compliment Jacob Green Jr. could ever receive.
Jacob Green plays in a game for the Seahawks. Herald file photo
Jacob Green sacks the quarterback in a game for the Seahawks. Herald file photo
My father had died that week, and I dedicated that game to him. I wasn't in town for practice, and the coaches didn't know if I was going to play. I didn't even know if was I was going to play. But I played, and we beat the Raiders 13-7. I had 2½ sacks. I was out there for my father, and I played like I was possessed for that particular reason. I was really playing. We had Kenny Easley on defense and all these other people playing well: Jeff Bryant, Joe Nash, all those guys. But that was my day. Jeff Bryant and Joe Nash and (defensive assistant) George Dyer, those were my guys. They told me to go play for my dad.
All I could remember was crying on the field during the game. I remember crying during warm-ups. But once the game started, I was there. Then after the game I remember crying in the locker room. When I got on the field for the game, I had this feeling of power. I knew exactly what was going on. I was in another world. I'll never forget that game. I remember one particular play in which I was rushing against Raiders offensive lineman Henry Lawrence, and it was like I got some super strength from somewhere. I had Henry so off balance that I literally picked him up and moved him. Later on, I found out that television commentator Deacon Jones said during the telecast that he had never seen a pass rush like that; he had never seen a pass-rush exhibition put on like that. Henry Lawrence was a great player, but he happened to catch me on the wrong day. He was a great player, and I take nothing away from Henry, but that day I dominated that game. I knew that I had played well that game for a reason. It was one of those things. It was for my dad. After the game, we were excited, we were celebrating, we had won. I remember Charle Young, my teammate, taking the game ball and giving it to Kenny Easley because he had a great game too. Usually Chuck Knox would be the one to give the game ball, but for some reason Charle felt like he had to that game because he was one of the veteran leaders. I've got all these game balls in my house, and I can tell you what each was for. But I didn't get that one. I remember coming back, sometime the following week because I had left the next day for my dad's funeral, and Chuck Knox gave me another game ball. He told me that I deserved the game ball for that particular game. And I thought I did too. That's where my mind was. I wanted to win one because of what had happened to my dad. That game, no question, was one of my greatest games I ever played in. It meant a lot, in a lot of different ways – all the anger of my dad not being there, the sadness of him not being there. I took it out on the football field and played that game for him. A lot of people still talk to me about that game.
Jacob Green jumps onto the pile in a game for the Seahawks. Herald file photo
And Green will never forget the game. Not only is it etched into his memory, but Green also gets a constant reminder every time he visits his mother's Houston home, where that game ball is on display. Easley said that he gave the actual game ball to Knox to present to Green, and that ball eventually made it to Houston. But that wasn't the last game ball Jacob Green would receive. By his own count, he earned some 40 game balls over the years. He went to two Pro Bowls, in 1986 and 1987, and is still listed among the Seahawks' all-time leaders in games (218), starts (176) and sacks (116). He was placed in the Seahawks' Ring of Honor in 1995 and remains one of the most popular players in franchise history.
Jacob Green sacks the opposing quarterback during a game for the Seahawks. Green was blessed with athletic talent, but his father encouraged him to hold part-time jobs, just in case. Herald file photo
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