Good afternoon,12s. Here's a look at what's out there today — Tuesday, September 12— about your Seattle Seahawks.
Seahawks Legend Walter Jones Joins Good Morning Football To Talk 96 Check, Big Walt's Kitchen and More
In the 1997 NFL Draft, the Seahawks selected Florida State tackle Walter Jones No. 6 overall - the beginning of a 12-year Hall of Fame career. More than a decade after his retirement, Jones sat down with the Good Morning Football team to discuss his latest collaboration with the team at Lumen Field, 25-plus years in Seattle and the 96 Check initiative he started in honor of the late Cortez Kennedy.
The 49-year-old Jones may hail from Aliceville, Alabama - but for more than two decades he's been a legend in the Pacific Northwest. Jones was an impact player from the start of his career, earning All-Rookie team honors from the Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) in 1997, before earning four First Team All-Pro nominations and earning nine Pro Bowl selections throughout the 2000's. After retiring following the 2009 season, which he missed due to a knee injury, Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 - his first year of eligibility. Jones then took his knowledge of the game to broadcast, joining KING 5’s Paul Silvi in 2018 to co-host The 5th Quarter show. Last week, Jones sat down with the GMFB team to discuss Big Walt’s Kitchen - a new food option available at Lumen Field (Sections 126 and 321) with a menu birthed from childhood.
"It was all about being with Seattle for a long time," said Jones. "And the opportunity presented itself. We all play this game for these types of opportunities. They came and presented it to me, and I wanted to put my own flare to it. We're doing a spicy chicken sandwich - think about being at the game, you want a nice chicken sandwich with a nice brew. Then we're doing chicken fingers. Then, I'm doing a special thing for my mom. When I'm missing my mom, I do peanuts and coke. So, I'm calling it "Sweet Home Coke" - basically Coca Cola with peanuts in it and you drink it. You're drinking and eating at the same time - it's kind of like closed-caption, I tell my kids all the time. You get a chance to watch TV and read at the same time. It's something I'm looking forward to. To play my entire career in Seattle and to still have something going on in the stadium is pretty awesome."
Some players miss training camp for holdouts - but during his playing days, Jones was known for his unique method of preparation. While the team practiced, Jones pushed trucks at his secluded home - just as he did during his junior college days at Holmes Community College.
"I just wanted to be ready," said Jones. "You play the game because you love it, but still again we understand it's a business. At that time, I was just trying to get ready - I knew that if I missed training camp, I had to be ready to play. Those were things I did, I came from a very small school and we didn't have a lot of weight equipment. So that's what we did to get ready - pushed the trucks. I just went back to that, tried to do it privately - but somebody caught a video of it. But, for me, with the game I play I tell offensive linemen all the time, 'Do what's going to get you ready for the game.' I can't be running sprints with the receivers and running backs, I've got to do what I've got to do to be ready to play on Sunday."
Earlier this Month, Jones spent September 6 by bringing in an annual tradition of calling his former teammates and peers across the league for a wellness check. Since 2017, Jones has bestowed it upon himself to lead the charge, following the death of teammate and fellow Pro Hall of Fame member Cortez Kennedy that year. Mental Health is a major area of focus for the organization, and Jones discussed what keeps him going as a beacon of hope for others through the initiative.
"It's a great day," said Jones. "I think Cortez showed me how to be a professional outside of the game. And for me personally, when he passed away, you go to meet family and friends. And the number one thing they said is he'd always check on you. So, I wanted to do something to remember him. I came up with the Check 96 just to check in. We all understand how we get so busy in our own life, and forget about those people. I push it out further than just players, with family members and everything. So like the hat says - you connect, check and you care. I tell those guys all the time, if I don't know how to help you, I know somebody that can help you. I just want to let those guys know, we're not gladiators anymore. If you're feeling something, let somebody know. On this day to remember him, it's to check on those guys you went to battle with. Most of the time, it's the backups giving you a look everyday and you want to let them know that 'You were part of the team too - and I know who you are'. Just recognizing you, seeing what's up and how you're doing."
Check out the full interview and head to sections 126 or 321 during home games this season to get some eats from Big Walt's Kitchen.
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Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seahawks' Week 1 matchup vs. the L.A. Rams at Lumen Field on Sunday, September 10, 2023. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.