13 Mar Five questions with…Jacoby Jones
Jacoby Jones is forever part of NFL history courtesy of two iconic plays during the 2012 NFL season. Jones caught a 70-yard pass from Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco in the AFC Divisional playoff game between the Ravens and the Denver Broncos—now known as the “Mile High Miracle”—with under a minute to play to send the game into overtime. The Ravens won the game, defeated the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, then won Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers in large part thanks to Jones’s 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown— which is the longest play in Super Bowl history—to open the second half.
The former Baltimore Raven is now retired and working with First Down Funding. Jones is “The Commissioner” for First Down Funding, which specializes in structuring and approving cash advances for small to medium-sized business owners. It’s the American version of Sharpshooter Funding, where Bret Hart is a spokesman.
“Working with Bret and Jacoby, it’s all circular,” said Paul Pitcher, who is the managing partner for both First Down Funding and Sharpshooter Funding. “When you mention those names, those are the best, and that’s exactly what our fund does.”
Jones is also a diehard wrestling fan, and connected with SI.com to discuss the WWE, his own Super Bowl memories and the most recent Super Bowl victory by the Patriots.
SI.com: Who are some of your favorite wrestlers? And did any of your teammates with the Baltimore Ravens remind you of any WWE stars?
Jones: I am a big wrestling fan. I’m old school. I love the old Sting, The Rock, and the Ultimate Warrior. My mom took me to see a Smackdown show when I was kid, and The Rock was there, and he’s still one of my favorites.
The Rock of the NFL is Ray Lewis. I don’t know who wins that fight. Have you seen The Rock lately? If they fought, I might have to help Ray Lewis for him to have a shot at him.
SI.com: You were a tremendous part of the Ravens’ Super Bowl title run in 2012 with the “Mile High Miracle” against the Denver Broncos and also set a record in Super Bowl XLVII with a 108-yard touchdown. These are your “WrestleMania moments” on the football field—what do you remember most about them?
Jones: We did the two-minute drill in practice a lot, and [quarterback] Joe Flacco would always tell me, ‘Keep running.’ I’d run down the sidelines as fast as I could, so that’s what I did in the game. So when I caught that touchdown pass against the Broncos in the playoffs, that felt like practice. I couldn’t believe it worked.
My touchdown run in the Super Bowl, that’s something we also worked on in practice. I’d had long returns before, and this was a straight-ahead play. It felt like a track meet to me, and Coach [John Harbaugh] said, ‘If you see it, go for it.’ My teammates blocked their butts off for me, and it’s one of those plays that just all came together.
SI.com: The New England Patriots were your biggest rival while you were with the Ravens. What did you think of their recent Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons? And if you could compare Super Bowl LI MVP Tom Brady and Patriots coach Bill Belichick to any wrestlers, who would you choose?
Jones: The Patriots won the Super Bowl, you can’t take that from them. Hats off to them, but I do feel like the Falcons changed up their schemes at halftime and that cost them the game. Personally, I ain’t mad at the Patriots. You can’t get mad at them. How can you get mad at a man with five rings?
Brady and Belichick, if they were wrestlers? They would be Goldust and Jake the Snake. They’d have worked together well. Of course, Brady would be Goldust.
SI.com: What is your role with First Down Funding?
Jones: I’m the commissioner of First Down Funding. And we have big plans for the year moving into 2018. Paul Pitcher runs the funds in the United States and Canada, and he is a good guy and he wants to help people out. That’s all I want to do, too. Every day, no matter what you do for a living, you will always need help, a lot of the time financing help. That is where Paul Pitcher, First Down Funding, and Sharpshooter Funding can come into play. I love the fact they’re helping business owners nationwide.
SI.com: What do you have planned now that you are retired from the NFL?
Jones: I’m spending my time helping out with First Down Funding, and I’m trying to get into coaching. I live in Houston, and a lot of people want me to train their kids in track—which I ran my whole life—and coach some football.