Andre Jackson


Andre Jackson is a football player who grew up here, in the suburbs of Chicago. He was the size of King Kong, could lift 500 pounds, and most of all, he was a hell of a football player. You should be like Andre Jackson. 


Andre Jackson was a real person who became a local legend while out of town because of being someone extraordinary for his area. He went to the University of Iowa, a D1 school, and played linebacker. 

The interviewee grew up not knowing Andre Jackson, but hearing the legends and that Andre was 5 years older than him. VL thought Andre sounded pretty cool, but didn’t think that much of him until Andre visited VL’s school in 7th or 8th grade and gave a talk about what his life as a D1 athlete looked like, as well as what path he had taken to get there. That, and especially Andre’s pure physical presence in the room, really spurred VL’s desire to follow in Andre’s steps and is why he ended up playing D1 football himself.VL later learned that one of his closest friends was Andre Jackson’s little brother.

 Andre was one of few people in that area to go to college, and he inspired VL and 6 of VL’s friends to do that as well, instead of doing what most would, which is graduate high school and go straight to working a job. He was different and he was special, which inspired others in the area to try and be that as well.


I think the idolization of Andre Jackson speaks to the hope for great success that his existence instilled into a community that was otherwise mostly resigned to their lives being rather ordinary. Other than this, I think the interviewee’s interpretation of the legend is pretty spot on.