|Siblings Jon, Chandler, and Arthur Jones|
The last name "Jones" is commonly used as an alias to depict the average American family. But New England Patriots rookie defensive end Chandler Jones' family is far from ordinary. And this weekend is the perfect example.
On Sunday night, the Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens in a rematch of last year's AFC Championships -- a game billed by the media as a revenge match for the Ravens. Not only will this be Chandler's first taste of what life is like under the lights of NFL's Sunday Night Football, but it will also be his first NFL experience squaring off against his older brother, Arthur.
Arthur Jones has been in the NFL three years as a defensive end for the Ravens. And while the brothers won't be taking the field at the same time due to both of their defensive roles, that hasn't stopped their sibling rivalry from heating up. The Jones brothers took to Twitter to show off their competitive mindsets:
Just beat @chan95jones in Madden 44~37 RAVENS > patriots. Haha we will see who gets bragging rights after Sunday night. Lets gooo!!!
— arthur jones (@Artj97) September 21, 2012
I wanna rematch! RT @artj97: Here's the proof just in case he tries to lie . Hahah @chan95jones twitter.com/Artj97/status/…
— Chandler Jones (@Chan95Jones) September 21, 2012
All competitive joking aside, it is pretty extraordinary when a family has 2 professional athletes. But the talented Jones brothers are not a duo -- they are a trifecta. The middle brother, Jon "Bones" Jones, also has a big weekend ahead of him, as he fights to defend his UFC light heavyweight championship title on Saturday night in Toronto. When asked about the relationship between Chandler and Arthur, Jon commented on their closeness and also confirmed their competitiveness: "They're best friends, so they're competitive in a good way. Whoever does better Sunday night will definitely roast the other."
So how does the family handle the siblings facing off on Sunday night? Jon and his mother Camille are torn, and trying to play neutral.
In an interview with WISH TV, the Jones' mother talked about her boys: "I call Arthur 'mommy's little big baby.' And there's 'mommy's little tiny baby,' Chandler," Camille said. "I'm torn about what team I'm going to root for."
While Camille is undecided, Jon seems to have a better plan for Sunday night. According to Sports Illustrated, Jon will be rooting for the Patriots when their defense is on the field, but rooting for the Ravens when the Pats' offense comes on. Said Jon:
"I'm not the most diehard football fan. So when I've gone to Arthur's games, I've mostly just followed him on defense and not watched too closely when the offense was out there. But now that both Arthur and Chandler are playing, I'll be entertained hopefully on every play of the game. I don't necessarily want a 0-0 game. I definitely want one of my brothers to win, and I'm interested in who has the better individual game -- more tackles, more sacks."
|I don't think the NFL gear shop will be |
selling this shirt anytime soon.
While three of the Jones siblings will be in the spotlight this weekend, a 4th will be absent. The eldest sister, Carmen, died at age 18 from brain cancer.
Health issues also trouble Camille, and according to FOX Sports, the Jones brothers take it upon themselves to support their mother financially:
Camille, who worked a developmental aid for the mentally handicapped, has lost almost all of her sight due to complications from diabetes. Currently on dialysis, she is meeting with a specialist in Baltimore this week about receiving a kidney transplant. Chandler is paying for her medical insurance while Jon has hired a nurse and chef to try and help her eat healthier.
The Joneses have used the hardships they have encountered as motivation, and have supported each other through the rough times. While they currently are experiencing a great deal of success, they haven't let it go to their heads. According to FOX Sports:
“All of this hasn’t dawned on me yet,” Jon Jones told FOXSports.com about his family’s rise to prominence. “We’re all still at the very young stages of our careers. I have this thing where I’m really big against complacency, so I don’t want accept the attitude like, ‘We did it!’ because we haven’t done it yet. Things could go wrong. You’re on top of the world one year and the next you’re borrowing money."
“Life hasn’t changed that much,” Arthur Jones II (the Jones boys' father) said. “People at the church are very happy for me, but there’s no big brouhaha of, ‘That’s Mr. Jones. He’s a famous dad.”
Regardless of the outcome of this weekend's events, one thing is clear: the Joneses are not your average family.