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Is there a more ferocious and fashion-forward defensive lineman than the Saints’ Cam Jordan?

The four-time Pro Bowler talks 1990s culture — and the most stylish players in the NFL

He’s a fashion icon — in his own mind. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks. He’s a nonstop jokester — unless you happen to be an opposing quarterback. Then he’s your worst New Orleans nightmare. His hilarious and boisterous taunts make him a star pupil in the Gary Payton School of Trash Talk. To know Cameron Tyler Jordan is to love him.

“That’s that little extra time where I’m like — I’m more than just an athlete.”
— Cameron Jordan

Superstar running back Alvin Kamara isn’t the only charming All-Pro in the New Orleans Saints’ locker room. Jordan is one of the most individualistic individuals in the NFL. In all of sports, really, if we’re keeping it a buck. Trust and believe, he’ll remind you of it too. Jordan, the 24th selection in the 2011 NFL draft (by the Saints), is a four-time Pro Bowler. And he has a successful lineage on his side, as his father was former Minnesota Vikings tight end Steve Jordan, a six-time Pro Bowler. Jordan’s 71.5 career sacks (including 12 this season) are enough to place him 12th on the NFL’s active list. Yet, Jordan’s finest ability may be his availability. Of 128 career games, the fashion-forward quarterback bully has started 127. During a tour of his New Orleans home, Jordan not only opened the doors of his closets, he also shared what’s on his mind.

The walk from the bus to the locker room — it’s the new runway for NFL players. How much do guys anticipate that moment?

That’s when guys start dressing up. That’s when you see their walk change. They get off the bus and all the sudden, you got that pimp in the style, like, ‘Yo, yo, I’m here, I’ve arrived, check me out.’ I’m not even gonna lie … that’s where you’re really catching mad juice. You know the camera’s gonna be there. NFL Network gonna be there. ESPN gonna be there. ABC, NBC, whatever is putting on the game. So that’s that little extra time where, like — I’m more than just an athlete. You look your best, you play your best, you know? Look good, play good, right?

Other than Cam Jordan, who are the biggest style influencers in the NFL?

You got rock stars like Von Miller, [Odell Beckham Jr.], Alvin Kamara. You’ve got smooth cats that come in, they dress in tees. You’ve got the tight end from the Vikings [Kyle Rudolph], tight end from Kansas City [Travis Kelce]. Malcolm Jenkins is always fitted to the nines. You talk about quarterbacks, Cam Newton’s gonna be your most fashion-forward. Ever since Russell Wilson has stepped his game up since he had a son, you know what I’m talking about? I don’t know what it was. He had a son and he’s just been stepping everything up.

If you had to pick the Mount Rushmore of stylish athletes of all time in any sport, who are they?

Oh, oh, oh … I’m already biased. I’m gonna try and go football the whole way through. OK. I’m probably gonna go Reggie White. He always had that big ol’ trenchcoat on. I’m gonna have to put Alvin Kamara up there. I can’t not put [Saints running back] Mark [Ingram] up there because he stay fitted. It might have to come down to Cam Newton, Von [Miller] or OBJ. All of them are iconic, so I’m gonna go Odell just because he’s from the area.

You know who I was surprised that you didn’t put in there? Deion Sanders.

See, true. I can only have one skinny guy. OBJ outboxes him. For a big fella, you can’t identify with 180 pounds. I can identify with big fellas, though.

You’ve got a couple of Starter jackets [in your closet]. This old-school Saints joint is fire. You’ve got the old-school Golden State Warriors too. How big of a status symbol was a Starter jacket back in the day?

I mean, it was pretty iconic. [Being] from Arizona, we really didn’t have a need for them. But you turn on MTV or whatever else, everybody had one on.

Is this a London patch [on the Starter jacket]? How’d you get that?

(Laughs) Starter did it all. Then you know we went ahead and skunked Miami last year [in London]. But to have the jacket, you have to have the shoes.

Before we get to Jordan’s shoe closet, which is more like his own shoe museum, Jordan was selling himself short a tad. He received the patch after New Orleans’ 20-0 shutout on Oct. 1, 2017, at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 fans. Jordan played a major role in the victory, finishing with four tackles and a sack.

From Jordans to Air Maxes, Yeezys and more, Jordan is excited to show off his collection.

… We comin’ in here and you got the Dunks, the [Jordan] 1s, the [Jordan] 2s, these Air Force Commanders. You know what I’m saying? These scream, ‘I’m on the blacktop or somewhere out in the parks!’

They’re screaming White Men Can’t Jump.

No doubt! I’m young Wesley [Snipes] with it. I ain’t come here to hustle. I came here for the ballgame.

I see a bunch of J’s. I see the Kilroys, the 1s. But which have the most special memory for you?

In terms of what makes me feel like, ‘Hey, I finally got the shoe I wanted,’ [I grew] up watching cartoons. So the Doernbecher 4s with the Superman joint on it. Then you’ve got the Fresh Prince [Jordan 5]. I’m feeling myself with these.

You remember your first pair of J’s?

The all black 4s, in college. My parents told me I could never get a pair of J’s with their money. So I saved up my little stipend checks and got ’em.

Where does Cam Jordan shop?

Anywhere and everywhere. All the states that we travel through.

You came of age in the ’90s. What are some things from back then that you still can’t live without?

The ’90s were when Jordans were made. The namesake is deep to me. Three things from the ’90s? But for the ’90s, it’s gotta be the music. Avant, Usher, the ’90s Isley Brothers, Jodeci, Tyrese, Mary J. [Blige]. The R&B era.

Justin Tinsley is a culture and sports writer for The Undefeated. He firmly believes “Cash Money Records takin’ ova for da ’99 and da 2000” is the single-most impactful statement of his generation.