Known throughout the NFL as one of the most dangerous defensive players in the league, Jason Babin of the Philadelphia Eagles continues to make a difference week after week on the field for the Eagles and in the community for the fans. As one of the league’s top pass rushers and run stoppers, Babin has shown week after week what he is capable of doing to opposing quarterbacks and running backs.
Drafted in the first round in 2004 by the Houston Texans, Babin learned a lot of what he knows today from his father who taught him the importance of giving back to the community and lending a hand when needed.
“Giving back to the community started with my father. We didn’t have a youth football league in town when I was growing up so my father and some of his friends got together and started it up and now it’s one of the premier football leagues in Michigan,” said Babin. “It’s a 501(c)(3) and is something I remember as a kid and something I remember until this day,” he added.
The Kalamazoo, Michigan native continues to give back to the football league that he started out in as a child. He donates equipment to the league for the kids so they can continue to play, and he also donates funds so the families don’t have to stress too much about the financial side of things.
“What I do every year is through some of the great NFL programs like NFL Match, where the NFL matches my donation of $5,000,” explained Babin. “I also cut them a cheque this year for the sprinkler system and I gave them $15,000 worth of Under Armour equipment like shoes, socks, bags, everything that they possibly need so it wouldn’t come out of their pocket because it’s expensive to play football.”
Although there isn’t much time during the season for Babin to get out into the community throughout the week, talking to the community and lending a helping hand however he can is something that he takes pride in and is very proud to do.
“Our time is very limited during the season but we still go out into the community for about a day or a day and a half each week,” said the two-time Pro Bowler. “I really enjoy going out to speak to the kids, whether it be at their school or through a community program, just because a lot of the times kids don’t like to listen to adults or pay attention to what they’re saying but when they see a professional athlete come in and it’s someone they look up to and watch every Sunday it really resonates much higher with them.”
One of the things that Babin likes to talk to the community’s youth about is the importance of athletics in life. He doesn’t send them the message that they have to be a professional athlete, he just lets them know that the things they learn through athletics can be used everyday and can help them out their entire life.
“When I talk to kids I talk to them about the role that athletics plays in life. It’s not about being a professional athlete; if it’s something that happens you’re very fortunate but obviously the percentage is very small,” said Babin. “I think that athletics are great though because it teaches teamwork and hard work and it helps kids function outside of the comfort zone because life can be difficult as a kid but you learn the tools that you need to succeed in life,” he expressed.
As a father of two, Jason understands how important it is to be a positive role model on the youth. He knows that they learn at a very young age and take in what they see and hear, which is why he’s doing his best to be an influential role model for them, as well as the entire Eagles community.
“When I had my first son, Maddux, my viewpoints kind of changed. Your parents always say that you’ll understand when you have kids and I realized that it’s true. I realized what a responsibility it was to raise my son to grow up to be a man someday, which I’m still in the process of, but I realize how important it is for young boys to have that influential male in their lives,” stated Babin.
“I take it upon myself to do whatever I can to help out whether it is a friend, family friend, relative, to really help mentor guys, especially young kids that may be causing some trouble like I did when I was little. I try to guide them and show them the ropes. It’s a little passion of mine.”
One of the things that Jason tried out this past summer was a football camp for the youth. As someone who continues to challenge himself both on and off the field, he doesn’t back down from any challenge, he faces it head on.
“The camp we had this past year was something we haven’t done yet. I always like challenging myself and I love helping out young athletes so I thought let’s try it and see what happens,” he said.
“It was a great learning experience for me. I think I learned more than the most of the kids at the camp,” he chuckled.
Although he continues to work hard all season long, the Eagles defensive end understands how important the fans are to the game that he and millions of others around the world love. He is proud to represent such a loyal and dedicated community week after week and couldn’t ask for anything else.
“I love the support that we get from the fans. Eagles fans are the best fans in the world and you can really feel the passion, emotion and history when you hear these fans talk about their Eagles and the different generations of fans that have come before them. It’s a lifestyle out here and I love it,” expressed Babin.
“The biggest thing for the fans here is being honest with them. You have to be careful because you can’t always express your emotions because it’s a fan driven sport. It’s why we get paid what we do and live how we do and get to play on TV. It’s all thanks to the fans and you have to put them first,” he concluded.
As someone who is grateful for every opportunity he gets, he always makes the most out of what he is given. He has quickly become a fan favourite in Philadelphia and throughout the entire NFL. One of the team leaders both on and off the field, Babin continues to give back to the fans what they give him every week, loyalty, support and everything from the heart.
To learn more about what Jason Babin is doing and what he’s up to, visit http://babinfanclub.com/