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Mom, who will you root for?

Seahawks' Babineaux faces brother Jonathan in Falcons' game Sunday

  • Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux will face his brother, Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, in an NFL game for the third time on Sunday.

    John Froschauer / Associated Press

    Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux will face his brother, Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, in an NFL game for the third time on Sunday.

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By John Boyle
Herald Writer
Published:
  • Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux will face his brother, Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, in an NFL game for the third time on Sunday.

    John Froschauer / Associated Press

    Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux will face his brother, Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, in an NFL game for the third time on Sunday.

RENTON — Barbara Babineaux will be at Qwest Field Sunday when Seattle hosts Atlanta, and of the 67,000 football fans in attendance, none will be more proud — or more conflicted — than the mother of Jordan and Jonathan Babineaux.
This will be the third time that Jordan, a defensive back now in his seventh-year with the Seahawks, will face his older brother, a defensive tackle who is in his sixth year with the Falcons. That naturally makes for an interesting day for mom, who will spend her afternoon filed with pride while also torn as two of her sons battle in a game with playoff implications for both teams.
“All of the above,” Barbara said in a phone interview. “Whatever defense goes on the field, I root for that team. Then when the other defense is on the field, that's the team I root for.”
And while Jordan and Jonathan no doubt want to make big plays to show who is the best Babineaux, there is more at stake than just a sibling rivalry. The Falcons currently have a one-game lead in the NFC South and have the inside track on home field advantage in the playoffs, while the Seahawks are tied for first place in the NFC West.
“This is a big game for us in the sense that it's our next opponent, and we really have to get playing the right way to finish up the season if we want to be playing in January,” Jordan Babineaux said. “So although it's a minor battle in the Babineaux family, I know it's much bigger than that.”
As is the case in most families, the Babineaux boys are competitive in all walks of life. Jordan often likes to brag about being the best-dressed Seahawk, but according to Barbara, that battle is still being waged within the family.
“Oh yeah, Jonathan gets all done up too,” she said. “They compare. They always compare.”
The one area they can't compare is in physical bulk. Somehow Jonathan ended up a 296-pound defensive tackle while Jordan grew to be a sleek, ball-hawking defensive back.
“The crazy part is that I ate more than he did,” the 210-pound Jordan said. “He got the size, I got the skill. ... He's pretty skilled for a big guy, I'll say that.
When Barbara arrives in Seattle this weekend, her boys will treat her to dinner, which is the least they can do for the woman who raised five children in Port Arthur, Texas, all five of whom went on to graduate from college. When Jordan was 9 years old, their father, Joseph, died in an accident, leaving Barbara alone with the considerable task of raising five kids.
“My father passed when I was nine, and it was just her, so you can imagine the struggles,” Jordan said. “It was pretty chaotic, but she found ways to keep food on the table despite living check to check at times, and now this is her reward.”
The Babineaux kids were aware that money was tight — “You could tell by the location where we lived,” Jordan said. “Port Arthur's not one of the most high-income cities.” And that if they looked, there was trouble to be found, which is why one of Barbara's solutions to handling five children, four of them boys, was to keep them busy. Jordan recalls how he always seemed to have something going on after school, even playing on the golf team in high school.
“They stayed involved in church activities and school activities,” Barbara said. “They were playing ball ever since elementary school, so it was a nonstop thing for both of them.”
Or as Jordan puts it: “We did everything. ... That kept us from straying and doing more of the bad things that were right in front of our face.”
Doing everything not only kept the Babineaux kids out of trouble, it also helped land two of them in the NFL, and on Sunday they'll face off at Qwest field with one proud mother in attendance.
Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog
Story tags » Seahawks

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