Skip to main content
New Orleans Saints

Saints News | New Orleans Saints |

A letter from Dad: Steve Jordan to Cam Jordan on the eve of his 200th career game
Saints defensive end will reach the 200-game mark (regular season and postseason) Sunday vs. the Atlanta Falcons
Dec 16, 2022


The New Orleans Saints informed me of your 200th game as a Saint in the upcoming game vs. the Atlanta Falcons. I marvel at the fact that you're already in year 12. I'm thrilled that you still have a passion for the game and you're still playing at a high level. This has caused me to reflect on your career from the perspective as a dad and as a former player. From the former player perspective, I understand the hard work, dedication, availability, along with God's grace and good genetics, and how that contributes to a successful career. Arguably, Anita gave you the better athletic genes.

When I look back at your early years, your athleticism started to appear later in junior high. While all three of our children were athletic (and arguably pound-for-pound, your baby sister Steffanie is probably the best athlete in the house), you were always the most competitive. Praise God, it appears we channeled that in the right directions. Thankfully, you all wanted to play sports year-round, but Anita's temperance to ration sports in balance with other things probably averted burn out and kept all of you guys' desire to play even stronger. I can admit, I had to be "that dad" who forced you to play Pop Warner football in the eighth grade even after you told me you were going to be a basketball player. Gauging our rough-housing at home, your competitiveness and anticipated size, I knew football would suit you the best. The gamble paid off when you got the "bug" for football by mid-year of that season. I wanted you to have the opportunity to enjoy the game of football like I enjoyed it. By the way, that also got me out of doghouse with Anita for pushing you to play football.

Your high school and college careers success exceeded mine and my expectations for you. Not so much that I didn't think you would have that level of success, but more so that I understand the challenges that can inhibit that success, e.g. injuries, mental toughness, your social butterfly demeanor, etc. As a former player, I was able to provide you with good info to mitigate a lot of those challenges. As a dad, I enjoyed coaching you (and your big brother Geoffrey) in high school and then seeing your evolution. That growth came with a lot of work and some pain. But through it all, you were developing character traits including a solid work ethic, compassion for others, and a drive to succeed.

People often note that I must be proud of you and your accomplishments. Of course I am, but I'm even more thrilled at what God has done and is doing in your life. I remember being at the NFL Draft in New York City and we prayed as a family before going to the draft. As you may recall, the prayer wasn't "Lord let Cam get drafted in the top 10 picks." It was "Lord, please take Cam to the team/city where you would have him go and to do Your will." Admittedly I was perplexed when God answered by sending our very social 21-year-old to New Orleans! But as always, God is good and surrounded you with good folks to guide and invest in you. My former player experience helped get to the right agent in Doug Hendrickson to help manage the professional/business side of pro football. While it was certainly God to provide you with an awesome wife (whom you initially met in NOLA), I'd like to think the dad advice helped clarify the criteria that facilitated the marriage. While you've been considered for DPOY (Defensive Player of the Year), Nikki gets our vote for M&WOY (Mom & Wife of the Year…repeatedly).

Former players always help each others' kids and we were blessed to have former teammates invest in you. Guys like Uncle Dole (Chris Doleman) and later some of my other teammates like John Randle who have given you those nuggets that you soaked up and put to good use. I truly believe God sent you to New Orleans to do His will off the field as well. You've seen the work that we've put into the communities where we've lived. My father started the legacy of investing time and treasures in the community. I passed it on to you three and I'm thrilled to see your commitment in the communities of New Orleans and beyond. While I appreciate all of your charitable efforts, I especially admire your social justice efforts. That was during a very challenging time including political strife. Your leadership and investment of your time and resources including initiatives like Crescent City Corps program was exemplary and has the ability to make a real positive impact.

I appreciate the Saints putting your 200-game milestone on my radar and giving me cause to reflect on your career to date and mine as well. As a former player, I see and understand the commitment and sacrifices you've made. I know of the benefits of being on a team long term that many don't know of or take for granted. It provides the opportunity to build a community-based legacy in New Orleans, with the same team, impacting the same community off the field for a sustained period of time. And over that long period of time, you've had the opportunity to meet, mentor or simply positively influence hundreds of teammates. Your kids are all born in your team city, so they'll have a special connection to New Orleans and the Saints.

Parents, in general, want their kids to do better and accomplish more than they did. When I look back at our careers and journeys, I'm amazed at the similarities and am thrilled you'll exceed what God did in my career. In retrospect, I see similarities of longevity - I played 13 years and you're at 12 and going forward. I was a Vikings team captain and you've been a team captain at every level from Pop Warner to the Saints. We were blessed to play at a high level for an extended period of time – I have six Pro Bowls, you have seven (which is also the most by a Saints defensive player). I retired as the all-time leading receiver for the Vikings (even as a tight end) and you're on the cusp of becoming the Saints' all-time sack leader. We were both named our respective team's "Man of the Year" for community service multiple times.

Through it all, I continue to be in awe about the opportunities you've been able to enjoy and take advantage of for the greater good. Having experienced my dad passing away during our playoff run my rookie year, I'm grateful to God for allowing me to be here to witness and participate in your growth and your journey. Again, congratulations son for having such an awesome run. And the great news is you're still in the race and have even more opportunities ahead of you. I can't wait to see it unfold.

Love, Dad

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan is set to play in his 200th career game (regular season and postseason) on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Take a look back at all 200 games of Cam Jordan in uniform for the Saints and his stat line for each game.

back to top

Related Content