How can a professional athlete, who never played or watched sports at a young age, become a two-time Super Bowl Champion? Meet Jarvis Green – a humble guy who took what he learned in life and molded it. An advocate for single mothers, he strives to make living easier for those who struggle in life. A seasoned entrepreneur, he currently owns his own company. A leader on the football field, he’s been named as the Defensive Player of the Week several times throughout his career. Recently, we got an opportunity to speak with him in this exclusive interview!
I know growing up for you was a unique experience. Tell us what it was like growing up in Donaldsonville, LA?
Growing up and being a county boy…growing up was different than what it is now with the kids in society. I grew up getting up in the morning…of course we had school and all. I have a twin brother, an older brother and sister and they are twins also. Then I have another brother who is the oldest. It was funny, man!
Growing in the country, there’s a lot of things to do. Getting up in the morning and you are outside all day with the little things like playing, breaking windows, shooting at birds…those things there. I think that my dad and my mom have been around since we were little and we had a different type of structure growing up. I’m playing NFL football right now, but for me as a kid man, that was something I never thought about. We didn’t ever watch sports on TV. It was more about having family ties together and enjoying life…taking it one day at a time, you know.
It was more around the house. We had chickens…we had birds…we had dogs and cats. It was like a little farm…getting up and going to get the eggs in the morning, feeding the chickens and the pigeons. That was a routine. Getting up on the weekends and cutting the grass…just doing your chores everyday. That taught me how to manage my time and put work first.
You played college football at LSU. Describe how it felt like to see another SEC football team, the Auburn Tigers, win the 2011 National Title?
Well…you know the SEC is the toughest conference man! To me…in my opinion…it’s like playing in the NFL. Week-to-week they play fierce competitions. It’s like the NFL…it’s any given Saturday! Watching Auburn win, coming out the west, they are SEC. We couldn’t be there (LSU) but just to watch a SEC team win a national championship is kudos to the SEC. We have a strong conference. Most of the time, the high percentage year-to-year is the SEC fighting for a national title.
Since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, in your own thoughts, how have this natural disaster affected your family and friends in terms of recovering from it?
I lost a lot of family members…I lost about six or seven family members. They have lost their homes and everything. It was a tragedy. When Hurricane Katrina hit, I remember I was in Massachusetts. During the course of the days after the hurricane, I made sure everybody was fine…called and checked on everybody. In Donaldsonville, we got about 70-80 MPH winds. We lost power around the town for about two weeks.
My biggest thing was helping everybody and taking care of them. At the time I owned a restaurant, so I told everybody to go stay at the restaurant and protect yourself there. We had food in the restaurant and things like that. We are still trying to recoup from it because everyone lost homes there so they had to relocate. Some of my family moved to California. Some moved to Atlanta…some moved to Oklahoma and Baton Rouge. It was sad because you lost everything…all your memories, pictures, personal and valuable things they lost. So we got to start over
I guess that’s the reason why you founded the Jarvis Green Foundation then…
Yeah that’s the reason! I couldn’t set there. We have a great government system, but I think the single moms work their butts off. They are left with two or three jobs to support their kids. The government always says they make too much money or don’t make enough money. It’s very sad. With the foundation, we try our best to go out there and help the single moms. It doesn’t matter who it is. Since today, we have helped over 250 moms through the foundation. It’s growing at a steady pace every year from the support of the local communities. Just being in touch with those single moms and having a relationship is very close to my heart.
You won two super bowls with the New England Patriots and currently play for the Houston Texans. What great tangibles about yourself do you bring to the Texans?
I think what I bring is being a team leader and knowing how to play with different guys in the locker room. In New England, we had a lot of other guys who came into the locker room like Corey Dillon, Junior Seau and Randy Moss. I think to have a winning team, its just not one guy…it’s just not about Tom Brady. Everybody is saying how’s Tom Brady…and I say, you want to know about the rest of the team because on our team, we have a bunch of leaders. We have a supporting cast that supports each other. Everybody depends on each other. So playing on a team like that…the New England experiences…the memories…the good times we had…we had more good times than bad times. It’s been a blessing to be a good team like we were. Most of my years in the NFL have been very positive because of that.
In your own words, can you help us understand more about the NFL possible lock out for the upcoming season?
In my own words…a tough situation! [As players] We know our average span is 3.5 years. The owners want to sit there and own a team or even sell it for 500% more of the value than what they paid for it. They will pass it along to their kids and grandkids. We’re fighting over something that doesn’t make sense! The owners say they don’t make enough money. If the owners don’t make enough money, why not let us see your books? Yall so big about saying you’re not making money in these tough times and we see the money that given out. We see the ticket prices increasing, the parking prices increasing… everything you know!
The sad thing too you know… Us the players have to make a big decision because we have hundreds and thousands of fans who pay the money to come out and watch us play football on Sundays. They pay money for season tickets that are not cheap…for Direct TV, apparel and all those things! You know who is paying our money…those fans are paying our salary! Now stop being selfish and let’s remember the fans make the NFL the great sport everybody watch in America and around the world!
Besides playing football, you’ve been keeping yourself busy as an entrepreneur who owns a construction company. Any future plans of expansion in your business plan?
With the construction company right now, it’s very, very big! I could sit here all day and talk about construction and things I’ve been doing. For me, it’s not a job…it’s a passion that I have. I had been doing it since school…graduated in Engineering. I remember in my second year in the league, I started doing internship at Rolls Royce. My second year in my football season, I was working on my plan B. Finally here now, I’m in my ninth year.
We do commercial and civil work. We work with a lot of big companies! The name of my company is called First Millennium Construction. I have a partner, his name is Nathan Owsley. Everything has been going great! It’s worked for me. Down the road, when my wife gets done with school, I’m going to be back home working 8-7 everyday with the construction company fulfilling my dream!
Throughout your many responsibilities, you somehow find time to actively communicate with your fans. Tell us how someone can contact you?
Well if you want to contact me personally, they can go to JarvisGreen.com. Whatever you want for information or want to talk. Single moms who looking for support or help, they can check us out and send us a message about why they need help. For those who want to donate to the foundation, we got a Paypal account set up through JarvisGreen.com. Everything you need is there. I always let people know that we’re growing fast. We want to let people know that we need support from everybody. We know the money that is donated goes out to single mothers. We are doing our best to helping single mothers on a daily basis.
One last question…Do you have any advice for people who may be struggling in life presently?
I could sit here with the success I’ve had and people probably think that I don’t struggle. I have time to struggle…I have to deal with a lot of people everyday. I’m a provider, not just for my family, but a lot of people. I think that those who struggling out there, it’s about perseverance…it’s about fighting adversity. You got to thank God for letting you breathe and have an opportunity to go out there and make ends meet for the next day! We travel on different roads in life…everybody road is different from each other but it’s all a struggle and obstacles. You got to find a way to get over those obstacles and move forward.