Clay Matthews may have played an important part in breaking the hearts of Cleveland Browns fans looking for their first win of the season – and coming ohsoclose on Sunday – but he honored his own history with the currently beleaguered franchise by putting on a Browns jersey with his father’s number on it.
“I got a special place in my heart for Cleveland, no doubt about it, especially with what my father was able to do here for 16 years,” Matthews said. “I brought the jersey, representing Pops. He’s here today, so I’m going to go holler at him after I’m done with you guys. Yeah, it’s really cool and really special. I’m sure he’ll give me a hard time and make fun of me when I see him out there.”.
Matthews’ dad, Clay Matthews Jr., Played for the Browns for 16 seasons of his whopping 19-year career. The younger Matthews spoke about his father, a 4-time Pro Bowler’s influence before match-up, via 247 Sports:.
“He was obviously a huge influence on my career. Growing up, I think for the most part, every boy wants to emulate his father. For me, I thought I would just naturally fall into the family business of playing in the NFL, but it is another story of how I got here. Just watching his career play out and taking it for granted, especially earlier on when he talked about playing 16 years in Cleveland and another three in Atlanta for a 19-year career, that was kind of the norm. Here I am in Year 9, and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I have played for quite some time,’ and I still have another 10-11 years to catch up to what he was able to do. It definitely influenced my decision to pursue this career,” Matthews continued.
“I was seven or eight when I left [Cleveland]. My dad was a free agent and went down to Atlanta so most of my memories unfortunately weren’t with the Browns and more so with the Falcons, but I definitely can remember where we grew up out there, the seasons and everything that makes the Midwest so special. I would probably say [memories of] his playing days were more so when he was in Atlanta is what I am fond of, but I was able to get back there in 2009 for my rookie year when we played the Browns. It was awesome just to be back in that city and know that my father had spent so much time there, my family, as well, had some really good years and put a lot of time in.”.
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