Former Raven Brad Jackson has flashbacks about his experiences during Baltimore's Super Bowl XXXV championship game. But they are not the kind you might expect of the Pikesville resident, who was known as a strong special teams performer.
Jackson played for Baltimore from 1998 to 2001. Since 2005, he has worked as a studio analyst since 2005 for Comcast SportsNet mid-Atlantic, doing Ravens pregame and postgame shows.
He also has a radio show, "The Purple Black and Attack," that airs on 105.7.
"Between Sunday and Monday, I had over 40 requests for tickets, hotel rooms, connections and hookups," he said after the Ravens beat New England in the AFC Championship game. "It's a real headache. I said on my Monday radio show, 'Don't ask me, don't call me, don't text me.' You have to shut your phone off. You will have cousins and family that you never knew coming out of the woodwork."
But those hassles aside, the 38-year-old Jackson says the 2001 Super Bowl in Tampa Bay was one of the greatest experiences of his life.
"There's no better feeling than when the confetti falls on you," said Jackson, who now co-owns the Hunt Valley-based Carxhex.com, which sells car warranties.
"It's magical," added Jackson, who also finds time to work as a college football and basketball color analyst for Comcast. "That's the greatest feeling in the world. You know what the moment is. When everybody was doing their thing, I ran and grabbed all 15 members of my family. They were on the field celebrating with me."
Jackson backed up Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis and the two outside linebackers.
He did, however, play in passing situations, covering running backs and tight ends.
He also saw significant time on special teams, working on punt and kickoff return coverage as well as on the punt and kickoff receiving units.
Jackson said recovering a first-quarter fumble was a highlight.
"It was a key moment," he explained. "It saved us early on because we had fumbled the football and I was able to recover it. It was a big moment for us because we were able to start switching the field position battle."
Jackson laughed as he recalled how he almost came up with another turnover.
"I would have had an interception if (Giants running back) Tiki Barber hadn't knocked it out of my hands," Jackson explained.
Jackson said he cherishes being part of a Super Bowl champion team.
His pro career started when Miami drafted him in the third round in 1998 out the University of Cincinnati, where he also played basketball.
The Dolphins cut him that same year and he ended up on the Ravens' practice squad.
"I have done everything in this game that a lot of people don't get to do," said Jackson, who recorded 16 tackles and recovered two fumbles in 10 games during the 2000 season. "You look at guys like Dan Marino,
who never won a Super Bowl. He went to a Super Bowl as a rookie. Jim Kelly went to four Super Bowls, but never won one."
Jackson has a piece of the famous jewelry that is given to each member of Super Bowl-winning teams. He doesn't like to brag about it.
"I don't wear my ring all the time," he said. "You spend more time explaining why you don't wear it. I know some of my teammates never take it off."
Jackson ended his NFL career in 2002 with Carolina, but he remains deeply involved with the Ravens.
He got a chance to share some of Super Bowl experiences with the young
Ravens players before heading to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII for his duties with Comcast SportsNet.
"The alumni try to do as much as we can to help the guys," Jackson said. "Being in the media, I am still around the team. I am over at the (Ravens practice) facility kind of tutoring guys. I have had some
young guy reach out and ask, 'How do you deal with the Super Bowl.' I say, 'Treat it as a business trip. You have the rest of your life to party.'"
At the Ravens facility, Jackson often runs into WBAL Ravens radio color analyst Stan White, a former Baltimore Colt linebacker, who notices his Super Bowl ring.
"You always have that ring," White said. "I think when you are on a Super Bowl championship team, it adds some credibility to what you are doing. You get asked a lot about a Super Bowl. There's not that many people out there that can answer those questions."