By ROGER MILLS
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 10, 2000
Bucking stereotypes, personal preferences, Braxton vs. Berry, autograph seekers and Florida coach Steve Spurrier, Bucs receiver Jacquez Green shares a few thoughts that are downright neighborly:
RM: What should people know about you?
JQ: People who really know me know that I'm a good person and not necessarily the stereotype of the pro athlete. A lot of us are in positions where we can be a--holes. Some of us are. I'm not.
RM: So, what's the most common misperception?
JQ: People think I party a lot. I'm private, I don't even invite too many people to my house. The only (teammate) who's been there is Reidel (Anthony).
RM: Your neighbors thought that.
JQ: One neighbor thought that. Exactly one neighbor. Those around me didn't think that. It was one guy. He was supposed to meet with the board members before doing anything like that. First of all, if I had any problems in my neighborhood, the vice president of the board lives exactly opposite to me and he was cool. If there was a problem, he never complained. No one next door (on either side of me) ever complained, the one woman who lived diagonally across from me and told everyone I was a great guy, she never complained. But some guy, down the street or whatever, who didn't even live near me, he had a problem.
RM: Your take is they could simply have knocked on your door?
JQ: That's right. I would have reacted the same way I do every time they come to my door and ask for autographs. They don't have any problems with that, do they? I don't have any problems with that. Their kids knock on my door and ask for autographs all the time and I give it to them.
RM: Okay, Jacquez, what kind of parties do you have at your house?
JQ: I never ever had a party at my house. I guess I have friends come over from time to time. Some of them who live down the streets from me. When you have more than one car in the driveway, certain people immediately assume you're having a party. But when they have more than one car in their driveway, and they're blocking the street, I never had a problem with that. Every now and then we may have gotten loud, you know how that goes. But all you have to say is "Could you keep it down."
RM: What's up with people knocking on your door for autographs?
JQ: They know that I live in their neighborhood. Then they kind of figure out where you live after a while because they see your car coming in after a while. It's cool. I was in that position once when I was younger. I remember in high school, we came down to a track meet in Tallahassee and I heard that FSU was practicing and I snuck into the locker room and got an autograph from Tamarick Vanover. I was a fan of the sport before I played it. I understand.
RM: Afro or Jheri Curl?
JQ: Afro. It's my thing. It's more old school, more of a throwback. More natural. More us. You know what I mean?
RM: Toni Braxton or Halle Berry?
JQ: Toni Braxton. She knows she looks good and she keeps it at that. Halle Berry knows she looks good and tries to make it more than she really is. She's actually average. You actually see people who look better than her from time to time.
RM: Better than Halle Berry?
RM: Okay, you attend Peach County High School and are from the Peach State. Fess up, you're sick of peaches aren't you?
JQ: Nope. I love them. Still eat them. I don't get them down here, at least not the good peaches. I actually got tired of eating peaches (years ago) but when I went to Florida I started missing them again. You don't really get the good kind of peaches like I got in Peachville.
RM: What CDs do you have in your ride?
JQ: OutKast, DMX, Big Tymers, Hot Boyz, Donnel Jones, Joe.
RM: What's in there that would surprise people?
JQ: Kid Rock. He's the American bad a--.
RM: You can't stand Steve Spurrier, can you?
JQ: He's a good coach. He might not be anybody you want to hang out with or be a friend with, but as far as teaching you how to play the position and what areas of the field to go, he just taught me everything about football. He taught me things, which back then I was like "Huh?" and now I'm in the NFL and it's like, "Oh, so that's what Coach Spurrier was talking about." His teaching offense even taught me about what different defenses are trying to do. He's a great teacher.
RM: You have a half hour with God, how would you spend it?
JQ: I would sit around and talk to him, have a conversation. About anything and everything. How it is up there? Everything I ever wanted to know I would ask him. He's got all the answers.
RM: One last thought. Did race play a factor in the neighborhood issue?
JQ: I don't like to make it a race thing, but yeah. I think the fact that I was a young black guy and I had friends, other young black guys, come by to see me. The thinking for them is, "If more of those people keep coming over here, the value of our house, our area will go down. We got to get him out of here."