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Nick Toon follows his father’s footsteps to the NFL

Nick Toon AP

Former Jets receiver Al Toon was proud on draft day, when the Saints called his son’s name.

Not just because his son Nick had made it to the NFL, but because his son made his own decisions and forged his own way.

“We actually instill in all of our kids independence, and to be independent thinkers and to make their own decisions,” Al Toon told Sheldon Mickles of the Baton Rouge Advocate. “It was an honor to have him follow in our footsteps, both my wife and I, going to the University of Wisconsin and being a Badger.

“He made the decision on his own, and he was pretty excited about the opportunity.”

Nick, a fourth-round pick by the Saints, doesn’t remember that much of his dad’s career. Al Toon was a three-time Pro Bowler, before concussions cut his career short after eight years. Nick was 4 years old when that happened.

“I remember a little bit of it,” Nick Toon said. “When I was little, that was my dad’s job, but I didn’t know any different. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized how cool that was.”

Despite the spotlight, Al Toon tried to steer his son toward other sports, and didn’t allow Nick to play organized football until he was in junior high.

“I felt I had to be very careful because I didn’t want him to feel like I was pushing him into the game,” said Al Toon. “I didn’t hang my (memorabilia) up because I didn’t want him to get the sublime message that it’s all about football. I wanted him to develop that passion and desire for football.”

That the son has found his own level of success, and still thinks that his dad is in any way “cool,” is about all the gift any father can receive.

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13 Responses to “Nick Toon follows his father’s footsteps to the NFL”
  1. beedubyatoo says: Jun 17, 2012 10:05 AM

    Another true Badger in the image of his dad, Troy Vincent, Joe Thomas, etc.

    Good luck in the NFL Nick, except against the Packers.

  2. hamcamnewton says: Jun 17, 2012 10:16 AM

    Al Toon is smart man

  3. jbuckland0421 says: Jun 17, 2012 10:31 AM

    Good story for fathers day, wish him the best of luck!

  4. christopher525 says: Jun 17, 2012 10:34 AM

    Been paying attention to this guy for a WHILE now, won’t say I’m a “huge fan” but I have thought he was a hell of a player. I was hoping Carolina would have taken him, unfortunately he’s in New Orleans, so I have to hope he gets traded at some point, gets cut, or winds up so good he goes elsewhere the first chance of being a free agent. I have a feeling he’ll at least do half of my last choice.

  5. labratre says: Jun 17, 2012 10:43 AM

    The Slackers are weak. Did you see that playoff game last year. They’ll be a good team, but, not as good as the Cheesehead Nation thinks!

  6. toddm6d says: Jun 17, 2012 11:01 AM

    Nick Toon. Like the cable channel, seriously?

  7. alexb64 says: Jun 17, 2012 11:52 AM

    toddm6d says:
    Jun 17, 2012 11:01 AM
    Nick Toon. Like the cable channel, seriously?

    Nick was born in 1988, there was no such thing as a “Nicktoon” until the 1990′s.

  8. EJ says: Jun 17, 2012 12:00 PM

    I remember watching Al Toon pull off these catches that you would think should be dropped. He has hurt my Bills a few times. If his son Nick is even 70% of what his dad was, he’ll be alright.

  9. nyjetsmaniac says: Jun 17, 2012 12:12 PM

    TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

  10. apmn says: Jun 17, 2012 1:59 PM

    How cool would it be to have a dad who was in Tecmo Super Bowl?

  11. sfsaintsfan says: Jun 17, 2012 2:18 PM

    Toon will be a very good player for the Saints. I would not be surprised to see him in the Pro Bowl in a few years. If they still have a Pro Bowl, and if they still have an NFL after the concussion lawsuits……

    I wonder if Al Toon has filed suit yet? He should. And he should name Goodell personally as a Defendant.

  12. cousinrk says: Jun 17, 2012 7:55 PM

    Al Toon was my favorite player growing up as a Jets fan. Its so sad his career got cut short because people forget how much of an elite wideout he was. He came up around the same time as Jerry Rice and although I’d never compare the two his numbers were in line with Rice and if he could have had a full career he’d be in Canton like Rice. I hope Nick can have the long successful career his Dad didn’t get a chance to fulfill

  13. 11jlacy says: Jun 18, 2012 12:08 PM

    Sean payton had his eye on this kid he will make the squad and get utilized in the offense great additon.

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