There’s underrated, and then there’s St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson. This isn’t to say that his talents on the field have gone unrecognized because he is the Rams all-time leading rusher, ahead of hall of famers Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk. However, he should be receiving the same accolades that top tailbacks Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson are showered with. No worries though, #39 is used to quietly leaving the footprint of his trademark gold cleats wherever he goes. The 24th pick in the 2004 NFL Draft didn’t come into the league with the fanfare of an Eli Manning. Only die-hards knew what level of talent Jackson was coming out of Oregon State University. Just like only die-hard football heads knew that Jackson was a product of a city that is more known for its tourism and casinos than its athletes. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Jackson looked beyond the neon confines and became a trendsetter who broke down doors for other young athletes from Las Vegas who once considered leaving for California to be recognized. In this Life+Times exclusive, Jackson speaks in his own words about growing up in the city of sin and pays homage to the landmarks that made him who he is today.
“Growing up in Vegas as a kid is a good thing and a bad thing. You can’t get into the trouble that Vegas is known for because you have to be 21-years-old. As a kid, you see the money and the lights but it’s more of a motivation to aspire to have the finer things in life. Just like any city we have all kinds of things to offer. It bothers me when people ask if we live in casinos. We have a lot to offer outside of the strip. Take a turn off of Las Vegas blvd and you’ll find something. People don’t realize that there are black people in Las Vegas. We have a hip-hop culture but people who come here never leave the strip to see what is offered outside of the casino walls.” – Steven Jackson