Lessons learned from blind father propel Pierre-Paul to stardom

INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in his life, Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul will have his whole family on hand for a football game when he plays in his first Super Bowl on Sunday. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean his father will be able to see it.

Pierre-Paul’s father has been blind since his son was eight months old.

“I don’t know how it’s going to be for him, but I know one thing for sure: He’s going to be rooting me on,” said Pierre-Paul, a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Pierre-Paul’s parents immigrated to the United States from Haiti, so they never really grew up with an American football background. Most of his father’s knowledge of the game comes from his son’s own explanations.

Nonetheless, Pierre-Paul’s dad has provided a source of inspiration for his son in far more unique ways.

“Just watching my dad, he never quit, no matter what,” Pierre-Paul said. “Since I was born, he couldn’t see. It is what it is, but he never let that stop him. He could have acted like his life was over, but he still does things like a normal person.

“He still cooks. He still stays with my sister and brother’s babies when my mom isn’t home.”

As a result, Pierre-Paul credits his success this season, which included 16.5 sacks, to his dad’s lessons.

“No matter what it is, we could be down 20 points, I’m never going to quit,” Pierre-Paul said. “I’m going to keep rushing to the ball until the whistle blows.”

— Jeff Darlington

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