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Jason Pierre-Paul nearly quit football to work at Boston Market

Anderson Cooper Tapes Segment For Talk Show "Anderson" At Boston Market Getty Images

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul didn’t have it easy growing up, with parents who were Hatian immigrants struggling to get by. And although he was a star in both football and basketball, he strongly considered quitting sports in high school so that he could help his family when his father, who is blind, was struggling to find work.

“I had a job to take care of my parents to take care of some bills at the house because my daddy wasn’t working,” Pierre-Paul said at Super Bowl Media Day. “I had to figure out how to make that all work at one time. I was working at Boston Market. . . . I told my coach, I can’t play football because I have to make money to help my mom.”

Eventually, Pierre-Paul worked things out with his manager to get a schedule that allowed him to come in after practice, which meant he would have football immediately after school, then work immediately after football, and he wouldn’t get home until after midnight.

Now Pierre-Paul has a five-year, $20 million contract, so the days of helping out the family by working at Boston Market are well behind him. But he says he’s still motivated by those days, and inspired by his father.

“Just knowing my dad, my dad never quit no matter what,” Pierre-Paul said. “Since I was born, he couldn’t see. But it is what it is. He never let that stop him.”

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46 Responses to “Jason Pierre-Paul nearly quit football to work at Boston Market”
  1. bigzant82 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:06 PM

    awesome i hope he sacks brady 2x at least

  2. edmazeing1 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:07 PM

    Good Man!!!

  3. klunge says: Jan 31, 2012 4:07 PM

    He could’ve defended that decision, because they do make some tasty vittles.

  4. lilrob10201 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:10 PM

    You took the right path JPP.Good luck in the Superbowl.

  5. ingraven says: Jan 31, 2012 4:10 PM

    Gotta love stories and people like this.

  6. ottograham says: Jan 31, 2012 4:11 PM

    Well good for him and his family then. I hope he is as humble as he sounds here. And good luck to the G Men this Sunday. Not so much for the Pats except I hope noone gets hurt. Other than that I have no desire to see New England win a championship.

  7. iseek11 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:12 PM

    These are the kind of guys you root for. No sense of entitlement. Appreciates everything he has.

    Wish this was more common in the NFL. Instead of the spoiled millionaire athlete that has become all too common.

  8. whatnojets says: Jan 31, 2012 4:13 PM

    I now have total respect for that Jets killer Jason Pierre-Paul! We should have been playing this week-end, that is until we ran into that recking ball (JPP)

  9. mrplow3 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:13 PM

    Well in his defense their chicken IS amazing.

    I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

  10. rpiotr01 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:13 PM

    “You have chosen… wisely.”

  11. mikeeg says: Jan 31, 2012 4:13 PM

    He still says Daddy? What is he 10?

  12. paleandpasty says: Jan 31, 2012 4:15 PM

    I am pretty sure he made the right choice, but Boston Market does have a pretty tasty cream of spinach.

  13. duraco20 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:15 PM

    Glad to see a positive article for a change. Wish he was an Eagle!

  14. tebowspeech says: Jan 31, 2012 4:20 PM

    Jamarcus Russell quit football to eat at Boston Market.

  15. kd75 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:21 PM

    School~>Football~>Boston Market until Mindnight. No wonder he didn’t have good grades in HS. That’s a lot for a 16 year old to handle.

  16. chrisexv6 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:23 PM

    @mikeeg:

    It worked for Pedro Martinez…..oh wait, maybe not.

  17. deadeye says: Jan 31, 2012 4:23 PM

    Good man, takin care of the fam! That kid was raised right.

  18. ryanindusblue says: Jan 31, 2012 4:24 PM

    Sports!

  19. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:25 PM

    kd75 says:
    Jan 31, 2012 4:21 PM
    School~>Football~>Boston Market until Mindnight. No wonder he didn’t have good grades in HS. That’s a lot for a 16 year old to handle.
    ———

    Good pick up. Too bad so many people will look at GPA and think it is the be all, end all. The majority of the time the people with the highest GPAs have NO LIVES and/or don’t have any real struggles in life outside of the classroom. JPP is a STUD and a solid young man.

  20. east96st says: Jan 31, 2012 4:27 PM

    That’s probably the only Boston Market in the country where no customer ever dared to complain about the food. The boss must loved him. The only guy who could take a chicken out of the oven and reach over to serve it to the customer behind the counter without taking a single step.

  21. waxthat says: Jan 31, 2012 4:29 PM

    @mikeeg

    He’s from a different part of the world. I think most would agree that he doesnt look or act 10 yea old.

    Trust me if you met him, you’d be calling him daddy ;)

  22. shiftyshellshocked says: Jan 31, 2012 4:29 PM

    does anyone of these guys have a normal life. always seems like either there daddy is in jail or dead and there momma has to raise ten kids by herself and has a drug problem. geeezzz.

  23. jackntorres says: Jan 31, 2012 4:35 PM

    Now he’s going to leave a mark on Boston.

  24. jerseyshoregiant says: Jan 31, 2012 4:35 PM

    mikeeg says:
    Jan 31, 2012 4:13 PM
    He still says Daddy? What is he 10?

    —————————————–
    That is what makes him great! He is still a kid!!!

  25. jeffirelandshairline says: Jan 31, 2012 4:36 PM

    Boston Market artfully creams spinach…

    JPP artfully creams quarterbacks!

    Here’s hoping he makes crem de la Brady for supper on sunday.

    Go Giants!

  26. 2sausage11 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:36 PM

    Shouldn’t have quit his day job

  27. 808raiderinparadise says: Jan 31, 2012 4:38 PM

    This is a great read in opposition to losers like:

    Sam Hurd, Michael Vick, Big Ben, Jerome Simpson, Ricky Williams, JaMarcus Russel, Dez Bryant, Michael Crabtree, Kenny Britt and the countless other ungrateful criminals.

  28. mac3333 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:48 PM

    Should have went the Market route.

    Quarter Chicken, White with Mash n gravy + Mac n Cheese? All day long.

  29. rcampore says: Jan 31, 2012 4:50 PM

    shiftyshellshocked says: Jan 31, 2012 4:29 PM

    does anyone of these guys have a normal life. always seems like either there daddy is in jail or dead and there momma has to raise ten kids by herself and has a drug problem. geeezzz.

    ___________________________________

    It’s pretty obvious you don’t know how to read or if you do, you didn’t actually bother to read this article.

    His father is Blind and was having trouble finding work and that is why JPP had to work to help his family. Moron.

  30. bbgraf08 says: Jan 31, 2012 4:51 PM

    Pats fan…Liked reading this. He’s a fun player to watch. I hope the Patriots neutralize him this weekend regardless.

    Popeyes > KFC though.

  31. n0hopeleft says: Jan 31, 2012 4:57 PM

    The Giants are full of stories like this – and that’s why when things get tough for an individual teammate, coach, or their organization – they rally around each other and win.

    There’s a reason why Reese grabs good character guys up, and passes on losers like DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant, etc.

  32. bozosforall says: Jan 31, 2012 4:57 PM

    Get ready to start crying, Boston…Mark it down, JPP is gonna make chicken pot pie out of your QB.

  33. maxvv says: Jan 31, 2012 5:11 PM

    I wish he had, just like I wish Tom Brady had pursued a career in dentistry or that Ray Lewis had become a minister. I guess you can consider that a sign of respect…or, er, fear.

  34. jackblackshairyback says: Jan 31, 2012 5:18 PM

    In related news, the NFL announces it has fined Jason Pierre-Paul $100,000 for mentioning the name of a company that is n ot an official NFL sponsor.

  35. nflofficeadmin says: Jan 31, 2012 5:21 PM

    There’s honor in all labor, be it great or small.

  36. nesuperfan says: Jan 31, 2012 5:50 PM

    JPP: “Now I OWN Boston Market”.

  37. roamingabriel says: Jan 31, 2012 6:09 PM

    He might have been a manager by now…

  38. i10east says: Jan 31, 2012 6:42 PM

    At first I thought that they were talking about the Boston TV market. Boston being the 7th TV market. LOL

  39. mlmeier says: Jan 31, 2012 6:44 PM

    I almost feel bad for laughing at the absurdity of the headline after reading the sincerity of the article and his dilemma. Good for JPP.

  40. spfripp says: Jan 31, 2012 6:55 PM

    Imagine how many talented kids that are out there that are/were in the same predicament. Not to bash the guy but he should be giving a big thank you to is old boss.

  41. nationalmediacansuckit says: Jan 31, 2012 6:55 PM

    As I’ve always said, Tebow isn’t the only great guy that people can root for. There are many great guys in the NFL who had to overcome real-life obstacles and to get where they are. Just b/c ESPN glories Tebow doesn’t mean that there aren’t other great people in the league. Besides at least this guy has proven he belongs in the NFL and not given to him.

  42. phillymike5959 says: Jan 31, 2012 7:04 PM

    Reading now how cool of a guy he is makes the knife twist even worse in the gut of every Eagles fan knowing we could have taken him (or earl Thomas when every draftnik was calling them to do so BTW ) instead of “high motor” undersized Brandon Graham, and trading extra picks to do so…Nice job Howie/Andy/Joe…Cool story

  43. patsfiend says: Feb 1, 2012 12:30 AM

    Good for him.

  44. bbgraf08 says: Feb 1, 2012 1:37 AM

    If I weren’t a Patriots fan I would be rooting for them in the Superbowl just to ruin bozosforall’s year. This guy’s hatred is pathetic.

  45. eleventyeight says: Feb 1, 2012 1:43 AM

    I remember hearing the commentator mention JPP during a WVU vs. USF and saying he’d only played one full year of high school ball, and walked on at nearby USF but was quickly put on scholarship. He played two years , was frikkin’ awesome and was only 20 i think when the Giants drafted him.

    One helluva fine draft, that. I sure wish the Steelers had made that call- he’da been a devastating OLB.

    Wish well and great luck in the Big ‘un.

  46. Fantasy Football Legend says: Feb 1, 2012 2:04 AM

    Great story and good to hear about another NFL player doing at least some good things with the big money me makes! I like him even more now.

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