This time, Steve Jordan will root for the other guys: Family comes first for former Vikings All-Pro
MINNEAPOLIS — In the 1987 playoffs, Vikings star tight end Steve Jordan caught a touchdown pass at New Orleans.
Jordan on Sunday will attend another Minnesota postseason game against the Saints, but he won't be rooting for the Vikings.
Jordan's son, Cameron Jordan, is an All-Pro defensive end for New Orleans. At least his father figures it would be best not to wear any Saints gear at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"No, just regular clothes," he said. "I don't need to polarize anybody. People say, 'Who do you want to win?' Clearly, blood is thicker than water, so I'm pulling for my son. But I might have the best-case scenario because I get to see my two favorite teams play."
Steve Jordan played for the Vikings from 1982-94 and made six Pro Bowls. One of the nods came in the 1987 season, when Jordan's 5-yard touchdown reception from Wade Wilson in the second quarter got Minnesota going in a 44-10 playoff rout of the Saints.
Cameron was born in Minneapolis in 1989. He was taken by New Orleans with the No. 24 pick in the 2011 draft, and Sunday will mark the fourth time since then that his father has had to root against the Vikings.
The family moved to Arizona when Cameron was 7, but he remained a Vikings fan. Steve Jordan said his son used to wear his jersey and helmet when he was young.
Much has changed since then. Cameron hardly plans to take it easy on his former favorite team.
"I want to destroy them just the same," he said. "There's going to be an offensive line I want to destroy. There's going to be a running back that I want to destroy. There's going to be a quarterback I have to destroy."
Cameron has done plenty of that. He had 13 sacks during the regular season to tie Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen for fourth in the NFL.
"He's a beast, he's an animal, he's a guy that can take over the game," Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson said of Cameron, his Saints teammate from 2011-13. "(He's) the backbone of the team."
Cameron, 28, last month was named to his third Pro Bowl. You better believe he's trying to trying to catch his father.
"When he made his third, he was calculating that he's got to get to at least three more," said Steve Jordan.
Steve Jordan will attend Sunday's game with his other son, Geoffrey, 30. His wife, Anita, and daughter Steffanie, 25, who is married to Saints reserve linebacker Kasim Edebali, can't make it. His father called Geoffrey the "biggest Vikings fan in the house,'' but he won't be one Sunday.
"I just pray the Vikings get to the Super Bowl next year," Geoffrey said.
Geoffrey said his brother when growing up was a big fan of Minnesota hall of fame defensive end Chris Doleman. During an interview this week, Cameron touched upon Doleman while looking back at some top players who were teammates of his father. He also mentioned a certain running back who didn't pan out after being acquired in a blockbuster 1989 trade.
"You get to go into the locker room and these are my dad's co-workers and they turn out to be legends," Cameron said. "You talk about the Chris Dolemans, Joey Browners, and Darrin Nelsons of the game. I won't mention Herschel Walker because he ruined our franchise.
"But afterwards, you grow up and you get drafted by the Saints and this is my team and this is my family and this is what I'm fighting for."
Cameron began playing defensive end in high school in Chandler, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb. His father said Cameron never wanted to play tight end.
"He could pretty much catch anything, but when I asked him about playing tight end, he said, 'No, I don't want to do that,' " said Steve Jordan. "No. 1, he liked to hit, it's as simple as that. He said, 'Why would I want to do that when people hit me and I can be the one delivering the blow?' And, secondary, he also didn't want to follow in my footsteps."
Steve Jordan is Minnesota's career leader for tight ends with 498 catches for 6,307 yards. He said it adds "a little fun" to Sunday's matchup that he once caught a touchdown pass in a Vikings playoff win over New Orleans.
Cameron, though, isn't planning to be discussing a Saints loss when he gets together with his dad after the game.
"We'll chuckle and laugh after we get this win about his team," he said.