Running back Fred Jackson spent eight seasons with the Buffalo Bills before coming to the Seahawks at the beginning of this season. His wife and four children have stayed back East for the school year. He talked to KUOW about what Thanksgiving means to him and how he'll celebrate the holiday this year in a new city.
Who will you be with this Thanksgiving?
I've got the whole family in town. I've got my wife and kids out here, and they're all excited about it. Bryce Brown [a running back just re-signed by the Seahawks] and his family are going to come over, and I think [running back] Thomas Rawls is going to join us, too. So it will be a full house at my house this year.
Some of the single guys, or guys who don't have family in town, you try to invite all those guys over and have a place that they can get to and enjoy Thanksgiving ... And I think that's what it should be all about, spending some time with teammates and family and building this camaraderie that we're trying to build throughout the season.
What are you thankful for?
"The most important thing to me is spending time with family. I think that's always the number one thing, being able to spend the holidays with your family."
What Thanksgiving traditions do you have?
"For my kids, I tell them to pick the favorite dish that they want made. And I'm not a good cook, but my wife is. She and her mom do a tremendous job getting everything set up for us. I think it's just about seeing how much food you can eat and how fat you can get."
What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
"My wife makes this strawberry pie, it's definitely my favorite. You know, I've got to eat the turkey and the ham, of course, with the dressing and all of that. But at the end of the day I like to polish it off with the strawberry pie that my wife makes."
S/O the best support group in the game! Can't wait for them all to be here tonight! pic.twitter.com/O3aFdVWdrG
— Fred Jackson (@Fred22Jackson) November 20, 2015
How do you deal with football rivalries over the holidays?
"You know, the only serious tensions could be over who gets the last turkey leg. But other than that, it's not too serious in the house."
How can people who know nothing about sports sound intelligent while watching football over the holidays?
"Trying to differentiate between defenses – a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 defense. You throw out things like that, it's definitely going to turn some heads.
"The one thing you could do is call the refs zebras. If you call them zebras, people will know that you know what you're talking about."
What's your take on where the Seahawks are at right now?
"Obviously, you'd like to be in a better situation. We've lost some close games, some games that we've had some leads in, and we weren't able to finish that. Now we have to be able to finish those games. We feel like we've got the ability to do that and, if we do, the rest will take care of itself."