It is hard to write a tribute without being just another person speaking what a thousand tongues have spoken. It doesn’t mean you don’t try.
Vincent Terrell Jackson was born January 14, 1983, and died February 15, 2021. He is survived by his wife Lindsey and four children. He is also survived by countless NFL fans and teammates.
Jackson played college football at Northern Colorado and grew up in Colorado Springs. So people in Colorado consider him one of them. And he was.
And before he retired from the NFL in 2018, he played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The community and the organization claim him as one of theirs.
In the coming weeks, there will be much speculation as to how Jackson died and why he died alone in a hotel room. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is what he did when he was here.
For instance, he was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, four years in a row. You know the award given for “excellence off the field regarding an NFL player’s charity work.”
His foundation, the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, was known for the support it provided to military families. A mission that continued even after his football playing days were over.
If you insist on focusing on his on-field prowess, remember this: in 155 games, a 12-year career, Jackson had 540 receptions for 9,080 yards and 57 touchdowns. He was a player. Here is “Every Vincent Jackson Touchdown” with the Chargers.
We can never know what someone truly feels, their demons, and their transgressions. We only see and what we surmise from our own circumstances. We just can’t.
So when you think of Jackson think of this: him in the powder blue of the Chargers or the orange and red of the Buccaneers. Or better yet think of the four-time nominee of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award who helped military families the best he could.
Be at peace Mr. Jackson, for you will be missed.