NOVATO (CBS SF) — While his gridiron heroics have earned Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff legions of fans, it’s the way he conducts his life away from the field that his parents appreciate the most.
His parents — former Major League catcher Jerry and his mother Nancy — sat down in their Novato home with KPIX 5 before heading off to Atlanta for Sunday’s Super Bowl. The conversation focused on their pride in Jared the football player and the human being.
Nancy recalled a story involving offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth’s son. When the young boy’s pet fish died, Jared brought him to the pet store to get another.
“He picked the little Whitworth boy up at school,” Nancy said. “He drove him to the fish store. Pick up a couple new fish — Goff and Gurley. That kind of stuff means more to me than anything he will ever accomplish (on the football field).”
The couple is still trying to grasp Jared’s journey from the playing field at nearby Marin Catholic to the biggest football game of the year.
“It’s pretty incredible, it’s a dream come true for him,” Nancy said. “He’s been playing for 16 years now (beginning with the San Marin Pop Warner league) and it’s so exciting.”
“He’s a lot better than I thought of being,” “Jerry added. “(I’m as) Proud as can be. To see the progression he has made over the years … We are just happy for him. This community has been so great up here in Novato — really strong backing. It’s really neet hearing all the nice things people have to say in terms of supporting Jared. ”
The Goff’s have become Marin’s first family of football.
“I won’t say royalty, but it’s pretty special,” Nancy said. “Like Jerry said the support from Novato, Marin Catholic — everyone around here has just been incredible.”
“I think people recognize us a little bit,” she continued. “Everyday we go somewhere where someone comes up and congratulates us and says they are so excited to watch Jared.”
Both Jerry and Nancy went to San Rafael High and have been life-long residents of Marin.
“So we know a lot of people from just living here so long, but there is a different feeling when you are lucky enough to have a family member or kid go play on the biggest stage,” Jerry said. “There is a little different feeling and we embrace that.”
When it comes to Jared’s cool demeanor on the field, his parents say that comes from growing up the son of a professional athlete and also a reflection of his mother’s character.
“I think it comes from growing up as a kid, of his dad playing in the Major Leagues — just seeing that this was possible,” Nancy said. “I think as the moment’s become bigger, he becomes calmer.”
But she admits that his calmness may come from her.
“Not a lot rattles me,” she said. “I think maybe he gets that from me. I would hope he also gets his kind ways.”
His parents say the Super Bowl was a distant thought when Jared struggled in his rookie season.
“The way it started off, the whole first year didn’t go as expected,” Jerry said. “It’s a tribute to Jared and the coaching staff and the players they brought in to LA…It takes a village not just one person to get to this platform.”
Nancy said the vocal critics that first year were hard to take.
“It’s hard to hear anything about your own kid,” she said. “Especially when they attacked his character. I know what a good kid he is… You get through it. There is a lot of positives in that.”