I drive a Chevy Silverado pick-up. I had a Tahoe, but I missed not having a bed to put stuff in, when I moved or something. Like, I went and bought a snowblower, and I could hardly fit that thing in. I just needed something to haul stuff in. So I bought my truck.
My first car growing up was a Chevy Blazer. Two-door Chevy Blazer. It wasn’t a clunker, but it wasn’t anything new. My brother and I shared it. My brother had it and it was kind of passed down.
I’m the middle child. I have an older brother and a younger sister.
All I watch on TV is ESPN. Sports. My wife hates it. There’s no battle – I get the remote. But I just can’t stand just sitting there watching pointless stuff. I feel like I can get something out of watching a football game, since I think I might coach in the future. I just like watching sports.
I have an iPod, but I never listen to it. I don’t listen to music. I wouldn’t even have an iPod if I didn’t get it for free at a bowl game – my junior year, when we went to the Texas Bowl, they gave them away.
I used to go to the movies, before we had a kid. But I’m not much of a movie buff. I don’t particularly like going to theaters, because I get extremely uncomfortable in those seats. I’d rather watch one at home and lay down on the couch.
Our son, Royal, he just turned eight months. It’s a game-changer, that’s for sure. But it’s fun. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. It’s a lot of work; the younger they are, the more work it is, I think. It’s enjoyable, but not as enjoyable as it’s starting to be now. When all they do is eat, sleep and poop, it’s not too much fun for a parent. But it changes everything.
He’s figuring out how to crawl right now. He sits up on his own; he can be laying down and from laying on his stomach, he can sit up. We got him a bouncy thing and a walker yesterday, so he’s going all over the place. He’s starting to find out what light socket is, so we have to go to Target and start child-proofing the whole house. It’s so much fun. He’s starting to blabber, too.
He usually sleeps pretty good, but last night was terrible. I was up at, I don’t know what time it was. One, two in the morning I guess. And I slept with him all night on the couch until morning. I can sleep. It didn’t bother me. He’s getting to the size where, my wife’s obviously smaller than me, so she can’t get comfortable and neither can he. So she had me go in and take him.
The best thing about being a dad is, for them being so young, the joy in their eyes. Even now when I come home, he’ll see me and smile. That’s the best. I can’t wait ‘til he can crawl. As soon as he’ll hear that garage door open, hopefully he’ll come crawling to me. Hopefully he won’t be too much of a mommy’s boy.
If you asked my brother, sister and parents, they’ll tell you that all I ever did was watch sports. When we got old enough to do stuff on the farm – driving the tractor, working – it was our job. Did it all summer, did it after school, after practice. It wasn’t a choice, you just knew. That’s what you do. It’s not like we couldn’t have a life, but during the summer, you woke up and went to work.
When the guys – James Jones, Greg Jennings, Brett Swain and their wives – came to the farm during the offseason, it opened their eyes a little bit. First off, they couldn’t believe anyone could live out there in the middle of nowhere. But I think they enjoyed it. At first, they couldn’t see how anyone could live out there, but then I showed them the land that I bought, and where I’m going to build, and they were like, “It would be nice to live out here in the middle of nowhere.” Town (Manhattan, Kan.) is 20 minutes away, so it’s dead quiet. It’s nice and peaceful. They didn’t do much for work, though.
In high school, my brother and dad gave me a hard time about being tight and not spending any money. I haven’t changed much. I’ve spent some money, but it’s been, I bought a house, I bought land. It’s something that’s equity, an investment. The truck I drive is free, I’ve got a car deal. My wife’s got a Nissan Murano that’s about as basic as you’re going to get.
There are a lot of guys who don’t save their money. It’s interesting. I’ve got nothing against them. It’s their choice. I can understand why you want to do some of it. But even vacations – vacations are fun, but it’s not like I have to go to Mexico or the Bahamas.
My wife Emily and I started dating at the end of our freshman year in high school, and I’m glad I had her before I got to this situation. I think a lot of guys are in tough situations when they come into this kind of money, this kind of fame. I don’t know how you can ever find anyone that you can trust. Obviously there’s people who’ve done it, but to me, it’d be hard to really know. Obviously you have to take your time to get to know them, but there’s people out there who think, “I’m going to marry this guy and get half his money in a couple years.” Emily’s not like that. At least, she better not be. (laughs) If she is, she saw something a long time ago in me that I didn’t see.
I got rid of Facebook when I was in college. I was on it until they allowed high-schoolers to have it, which was like my sophomore or junior year at Kansas State. Once they started asking to be my friend, I got rid of it. Being from where I was from – I grew up 20 minutes from the university – everyone knew in the region who I was when I was at K-State playing.
I almost went Division II, because there were two Division II schools in Kansas that offered me scholarships – Washburn University and Emporia State. And I was real close to going to Washburn. I liked the school, I liked where the football program was going, and I was going to play basketball. But in the end, I decided, if I’m going to go play a sport somewhere, I might as well go for it all and see what happens.
I had a good sophomore year, which was my first year playing receiver. I was a quarterback in high school. So I led the team in receptions, yards, had a few touchdowns. Then my junior year, I got hurt (knee) and missed a lot of games, and that put the NFL in doubt. My sophomore year, people were like, “Do you think you’ll come out after your junior year?” (And I thought), “Noooo. Why would I?” And after I got hurt, no way. So I knew a lot was going to ride on my senior year. Obviously a lot of people get opportunities; being drafted where I was drafted was out of the question before I had the senior year I had.
Basketball? I can’t shoot. These guys (points at wide receiver group) are way better basketball players than I am. I don’t have that pure jump shot where I can go in the gym right now and light it up. Not like Mr. Michigan Basketball (Jennings). I could play, but … coming out of high school, I could shoot when I was playing every day. I can go in the gym right now and make a basket. But playing at a smaller high school, I played the point all the way through to the big man. It was everything and anything. In college, I would’ve been a guard. Maybe a slasher.
My closest friend on the team is basically the whole receiver group. Maybe James. We went on a cruise a couple years ago, so we spent about a week together on that. “Drive “ (Donald Driver), he’s here some in the offseason, but he’s in Texas a lot. So all of them.
My favorite moment as a Packer hopefully hasn’t happened yet. Because if this is all I’ve got, it ain’t going to be very fun.
Getting to do the Lambeau Leap is a lot of fun, though. A lot of adrenaline. Even though every once in awhile you come out smelling like beer. I think when I did mine, it was so cold that I think all the beer was frozen.
I never thought an NFL locker room would be like this. I thought it’d be a bunch of egos. Obviously you’ve got people from different areas, so I just figured no one got along, everyone was about the money. But not here. That was one of the biggest surprises I had coming into this – what this locker room is like.
Listen to Jason Wilde every weekday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on “Green & Gold Today,” and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonjwilde.