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Babineaux brothers both shine in family showdown


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Babineaux brothers both shine in family showdown

SEATTLE -- Barbara Babineaux was somewhere at Qwest Field on Sunday, cheering for both teams. She was wearing two jerseys stitched into one, with Seattle Seahawks blue in the front, Atlanta Falcons red in the back.

One of her sons, Jordan, plays for the Seahawks. Another, Jonathan, plays for the Falcons. They squared off Sunday, giving Barbara Babineaux two defenses to root for, but only one son to congratulate and one to console.

She must have been on her feet when Jordan, Seattle’s strong safety, intercepted a Matt Ryan pass in the second quarter to give the Seahawks the ball at the Falcons’ 27-yard line. The underdog Seahawks, trailing 10-7, turned the turnover into a game-tying field goal by Olindo Mare.

“Their formation told me something,” Jordan said of his interception. “I knew that 88 [Tony Gonzalez] and 84 [Roddy White] were key guys in clutch situations. It was a great read. Putting the time in all week [studying film] paid off for me.”

In the third quarter, Barbara Babineaux must have been cheering for the Falcons when Jamaal Anderson sacked Matt Hasselbeck and caused a fumble in the end zone that Jonathan recovered for a touchdown.

“It was a great feeling to score my first career touchdown,” Jonathan said. “I figured that my brother had one up on me after he got that interception. But I came back and got that touchdown. It was a huge momentum swing for us.”

Little brother Jordan is known as “Big Play Babs” in Seattle, but Jonathan was “Bigger Play Babs” in this game because until he pounced on that football, the Seahawks were only down 17-10. Jonathan’s touchdown ended any thoughts of a Seattle upset.

This is the third time in six years that the Babineaux brothers have faced each other in an NFL game, Jonathan now holding a 2-1 edge after Sunday's 34-18 victory.

In addition to their mom, the Babineauxs’ other three siblings also came to Seattle for the weekend. So did nieces and nephews, godparents and family friends. All told, 23 of them got together Saturday night at Jordan’s house for a Thanksgiving-style feast.

“It was an opportunity to have everyone at the same place at the same time," Jordan said. "You savor those moments.”

A long time ago when Jonathan and Jordan were kids in Port Arthur, Texas, Barbara Babineaux routinely drove them through bad neighborhoods and told them they would never end up there.

“This is not the kind of life you want,” she was quoted as telling her sons in a story Sunday in the Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise. “This is not the kind of life God has prepared for you.”

Said Jordan: “My mom is a strong-willed woman. We were a single-family household. She made us stay in church and stay in school.”

Back then, Barbara Babineaux could not have imagined a scene like this -- her sons center stage in front of 67,101 fans.

“It’s always good to go out there and see your sibling on the other side,” Jonathan said. “It’s just a blessing that we are both out here playing in the National Football League.”

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