Jackie Slater: Pats Captain Matthew Slater’s Father Played for the Rams

matthew slater father dad jackie slater

Getty Jackie Slater while playing with the Rams in 1981.

New England Patriots captain Matthew Slater will likely be thinking of his father during the Super Bowl coin toss on Sunday, as he does every time he makes a call on the flip. Slater always calls heads on the toss, because his father did the same thing during his NFL career, the special teams standout told Boston.com.

“Well, I remember as a child watching my father play in LA and him going out and doing the coin toss for the Rams,” Slater told Boston.com earlier this year. “He always called heads, so I asked him one time, ‘Hey, why do you do that? What’s the story behind that?’ I think anyone who knows my family knows faith is important to us, and for him, he was always like, ‘You know, God’s the head of my life, so I call heads.’ That was something he came up with, and I’ve kind of just embraced it.”

Slater’s dad, meanwhile, has split loyalties heading into the Super Bowl. Jackie Slater played for 19 seasons as an offensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. The Hall of Famer spent his entire playing career in a Rams jersey.

“I hope he plays well and does his job,” Jackie Slater told the Los Angeles Times. “And I hope the Rams do well. It’s going to be pretty matter-of-fact for me. I’m not really going to sweat it. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

The younger Slater told the newspaper, “There’s been no man in my life, no person in my life, who’s had more influence or impact on me and my development. He was a Ram. I was a Ram fan. But not now.”

matthew slater coin toss flip

Matthew Slater, in the No. 18 jersey, during the coin toss in the AFC Championship game.

Jackie Slater, now 64, played for the Rams from 1976 to 1995. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, a three-time All-Pro and had his No. 78 jersey retired by the team after playing 259 games in Los Angeles. The Jackson, Mississippi, native played college football at Jackson State, where he was Walter Payton’s teammate, and later spent time coaching with the Oakland Raiders and at Azusa Pacific University.

His 33-year-old son grew up in Orange, California, and has played with the Patriots since 2008 after being drafted out of UCLA. He has won two Super Bowls and, like his dad, has made it to the Pro Bowl seven times during his career.

Football's Ultimate Family: The Slaters | NFL Films PresentsGet to know the legendary NFL family, the Slaters, and their connection from Los Angeles to Foxborough. Subscribe to NFL Films: goo.gl/XJTggL Start your free trial of NFL Game Pass: nfl.com/gamepass?campaign=sp-nf-gd-ot-yt-3000342 Check out our other channels: NFL Network youtube.com/nflnetwork NFL youtube.com/nfl Watch NFL Now: nfl.com/now Listen to NFL podcasts: nfl.com/podcasts Watch the NFL network: nflnonline.nfl.com/…2017-01-11T22:00:01.000Z

Matthew Slater told Boston.com his father said he will definitely be rooting for his son, despite his love for the Rams, when he takes the field during the Super Bowl.

“We had a good conversation [Sunday] night,” Matthew Slater said. “He’s going to support his son, so we cleared the air on that last night, and we’re all squared away.”

Catching up with Jackie and Matthew SlaterMatthew Slater and his father, former Ram, Jackie, reflect on Matthew's youth and Jackie's career with the Rams before Super Bowl LIII.2019-02-03T12:00:05.000Z

But it won’t be easy for the elder Slater to divide his feelings.

“When you play your entire career with one organization as I did with the Rams, it’s hard for me not to pull for them and wish for the very best,” Jackie Slater told USA Today.

Matthew Slater told USA Today, “It’s a unique situation. I think it’s a dream scenario for my father. He feels like he can’t lose, either way the game turns out.”

Matthew Slater on his father, former Ram, Jackie Slater: "My love of the game came from him."Special teams captain Matthew Slater addresses the media during Super Bowl week to talk the upcoming game.2019-01-29T23:45:00.000Z

Jackie Slater is excited about football being back in Los Angeles and the franchise’s future, regardless of whether the Rams can beat his son’s team on Sunday.

“There’s a lot of energy in Southern California. The fans are ignited like they haven’t been in a long time,” he told USA Today. “If the Rams had moved here and came out like gangbusters and went to a Super Bowl in their first year, it would have been like they inherited that. But the fans here saw the dismantling and watched the construction of a Super Bowl team. I think they identify with them more because of that.”

jackie slater matthew slater dad father

Jackie Slater.

Jackie Slater didn’t want his son to play football, Matthew Slater told Boston.com.

“He felt that way for two reasons. First, he didn’t want me to feel the pressure of living up to his name. He thought the expectations could be unfair,” Matthew Slater told Boston.com “He also wanted me to avoid injury. He knew the toll it takes on you physically.”

Slater’s brother, David Slater, played football at Chapman University.

Jackie Slater told Boston.com, “Sports have always been a big part of my life and have so many life lessons from being on a team, and the disciplines of preparing to compete and how you compete, and having teammates around you. I thought they were good lessons to learn. I discouraged them to play football. I didn’t think (Matthew) would be big enough to play football. I coached in basketball, soccer, track and field, even some flag football. I didn’t see football as something that he would excel. But when he played flag, he had good speed and he caught the ball and ran well.”

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