Green To Make Down Payment On Home For No. 30 Jersey
Friday, May 18, 2007



When Ahman Green arrived in Houston he figured he'd have to go deep into his pockets to get his beloved No. 30 from longtime Texan Jason Simmons.

Green was right about the switch costing him, but not in the way he expected. Simmons said he'd gladly surrender the number if Green made the down payment on a home for a single parent.

The deal was a relief to Green, who signed as free agent with the Texans after playing in Green Bay since 2000. The running back admitted to being nervous that he wouldn't be able to get his number.

He readied himself for what he thought might be an awkward conversation since Simmons had worn the number for Houston since the team's inception in 2002. But as soon as he got the question out, he knew it wouldn't be a problem.

"He said what he wanted to do and I said: 'Yeah I'm all on board. That's easy,"' Green said. "Tell me where to write the check to. So instead of putting the money into his pocket, he's going to put in into somebody else's home, house and help them get their life started."

Green didn't know this at the time, but he had no reason to worry that Simmons wouldn't help him out because the cornerback had admired his game since the two played against each other in college.

"I've been a fan of his for a while," Simmons said. "He's got size and speed and balance that you don't see much in running backs. You don't see guys that can make the tough runs and also take it 80 yards. So that's a rare combination."

Simmons said Green sounded nervous when he called.

"I did hear that in his tone," Simmons said. "He was like: 'Uh just wondering if' and kind of stuttering a little bit. It was kind of different to hear. I didn't recognize his voice just because it seemed like there was that apprehension."

Green signed a four-year, $23 million contract in the offseason to replace franchise leading rusher Domanick Williams (formerly Davis) who was released after missing all of last season with injuries. He has 8,491 yards and 54 touchdowns in his nine-year career that began with Seattle.

He said the plan was good not only because they can help a family, but because the moment forged an instant bond between the two players.

"He opened his arms already as a new teammate to me to bring this on and help out a family," Green said.

Simmons said charity has long been important to him and he thought Green's request would be a perfect opportunity to help others.

"It's just been on my mind to go out and help a family in need," Simmons said. "I just understand that it's not all about money. In my life, I never want to get caught up in just money because it can ruin you."

The pair are working out the details of their donation and said they'll announce exactly what the contribution is when it happens.

While Simmons has switched to the No. 22, Green is happily sporting his No. 30 at Houston's minicamp this week. He's long worn the number, but it's particularly fitting for him this season after he celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this year.

Though some see 30 as over the hill for a running back, Green still thinks he has some good years left and the Texans agree after inking him to the long-term contract.

"Age is just a number," he said. "I don't care if I'm 40, as long as I can still do the things as a running back, I'm going to do it at 40."


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