RASHAD JENNINGS TAKES IN SUPER BOWL WEEK
BY MATT COHEN
On the Sunday morning of Super Bowl 50, Giants running back Rashad Jennings boarded a flight from San Francisco to Miami. He’d been in the Bay Area all week, but wanted no part of staying for the game.
“It makes it tough going there because you’re not playing in it,” Jennings said. “It’s a reminder that you’re not the team that’s going to fight for the Lombardi Trophy.”
Jennings started ramping up his offseason workouts the next morning, focused on doing his part to get the Giants to NRG Stadium, host of next year’s Super Bowl XLI in Houston, Texas.
This was the third consecutive year that Jennings has participated in Super Bowl week activities. His first came when MetLife Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seahawks and Broncos, foreshadowing perhaps the next chapter in his career. Jennings would sign a free agent contract with the Giants a month later.
“The Super Bowl is a great opportunity to meet some of the guys with the helmets off that you compete against,” Jennings said. “You meet fans from across the globe and shake hands with some of the guys you respect.”
Jennings caught up with a number of players from around the league, including Chris Ivory, James Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Latavius Murray, Devonte Freeman, Todd Gurley and more.
The Virginia native certainly made sure to make the most of his time on the West Coast. From countless radio row interviews to numerous appearances at brand parties and networking events, Jennings was seemingly everywhere at once.
“From the time I landed Monday night to the time I left, I was super busy and did not stop,” Jennings recalled. “I give it an A-plus, for sure. I had the opportunity to network and meet some public figures that I respect.”
One of the highlights of the trip for Jennings came when he bumped into actor Michael B. Jordan, the star of the recent hit, Creed.
“It was funny because he came up to me because he’s from New Jersey and he’s a Giants fan,” Jennings said. “He knew who I was, and there was just a mutual respect for each other and what we do.”
The funniest part of bumping into the actor might have been the actual setting. Jennings was participating in an on-site version of Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle.
“I looked over and there’s a stage and it said lip sync and they were letting anybody do it,” Jennings said. “They had costumes and I knew I was going to have a blast. I got up on stage and rocked it out with Justin Bieber’s Sorry.”
In between the glitz and glam of Super Bowl parties and maximizing media appearance after media appearance, Jennings still found time to do something for the Rashad Jennings Foundation.
“The most rewarding two hours of the entire trip was my visit to the San Francisco 49ers Academy,” Jennings recalled. “It’s a low income school, and I was able to empower and influence those kids with hope.”
Started in 1996, San Francisco 49ers Academy serves middle school students and is designed to provide students with a small, caring and safe community, both during the school day and in after school programs. Jennings spoke to the kids, something he’s grown quite accustomed to over the years as his foundation has grown.
Thank you for the opportunity! Awesome group of kids. https://t.co/tPXzKOlgCX— Rashad Jennings (@RashadJennings) February 4, 2016
With the Super Bowl now in the rearview mirror, it’s back to the grind for the six-year NFL veteran. In addition to his workouts, Jennings will also take a mid-March trip to Hawaii for the NFL Players Association board of player representatives meeting.
“One of my mottos in the offseason is to train, travel and network,” Jennings said.
So far, it seems to be working out.
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