November 10, 2011
In fairness to Jones, this happened way before he ever knew of Fred Jackson, and a lot of other peoples' homes suffered the same fate. See, Jones needed someplace to build his new stadium, and that happened to be the site of Fred Jackson's old neighborhood. The Bills official website tells the story in this video.
This all happened in 2004, when Jones was just putting together plans for his giant football palace, and Fred Jackson was plying his trade for the Sioux City Bandits of the National Indoor Football League.
Jackson's not mad about it, though. He and his family were Cowboys fans, and he was kind of excited that his home was getting the wrecking ball so that an NFL stadium could be built.
"The house I grew up in was torn down to put the stadium up, so I got a little bit of home-field advantage that way."
"It was kind of weird because you were, you know, like, 'Pretty cool. They're going to put up a stadium up here, but I gotta move.' It was one of those things where you were sad to move, because it was where you grew up and we were looking for a new house and all these things, but the goal was always to get into the NFL, and if I get there, hopefully I'll get to play in this stadium one day."
He will indeed, and that day will be Sunday, as Jackson and his 5-3 Buffalo Bills play a pivotal game against the 4-4 Dallas Cowboys. Jackson will be spending some of his time before the game looking around the place, figuring out where some of the landmarks of his childhood would now reside within Cowboys Stadium.
"Definitely during pregame, when I'm out there getting loose, trying to figure out, piece it together, you know, 'This is my friend Jason's house, would be right here where I am now.' Things like that, I'm sure, will be going through my head during pregame, and I'll definitely be looking for stuff like that."
Hopefully for Fred, he'll be able to figure some of those things out, and do play-by-play commentary for himself as he runs for the end zone. "Jackson has the ball, he slips behind Old Man McGinty's convenience store, weaves around Phil's old house, right through Miss Parker's bedroom, TOUCHDOWN! Now I'm going to spike the ball right where I frenched Mary Louise Jefferson in the eighth grade."
The game is at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. I hope Fred Jackson's family has seats somewhere around their old kitchen.
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