I didn't know that

December 09 [Tue], 2014, 10:18
There will be no protracted, pregame Twitter throwdown leading into Monday night's game between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.

Over the years, Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews III and Atlanta rookie offensive tackle Jake Matthews competed at family Easter gatherings in Texas in basketball, pingpong, target shooting and even bonfire-building contests, hauling dead trees with tractors. The cousins, products of a hopelessly testosterone-rich culture, have been talking for weeks about what their first meeting on the football field means.

"Here's the deal with Jake," Clay said recently from the Packers' facility. "I watch his games, and he's having a nice season. I always wish him the best, but the problem is we actually have to play against each other."

Jake, speaking from the Falcons' complex, said, "Clay's a great player, and I'm really looking forward to it. It will be a good test to see what I can do. I was talking to my dad about playing against his big brother. He always says those were the most exciting games."

Yes, the fathers of these cousins are heavily decorated nfl jerseys uk brothers themselves: Clay Jr., an NFL linebacker for 19 seasons, and Bruce, an offensive tackle who went to a record-tying 14 consecutive Pro Bowls. Playing mostly for Cleveland and Houston in the AFC's defunct Central Division, they met a total of 23 times, including the 1988 playoffs.

"Wow," said Clay Jr., "I didn't know that. Time for the next generation, I guess."

Jake was selected No. 6 overall in the 2014 draft. That was six spots better than Uncle Clay Jr. and three better than his dad, Bruce. The fathers and mothers -- who all say they are rooting for a tie -- plan to watch Monday night from the same luxury suite at Lambeau Field.

"That might not be a good idea," said Carrie Matthews, who counts Jake as one of her seven children. "If things don't go well, we reserve the right to send the other side of the family out into those cold bleachers."

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