HOUSTON – Through the week we have heard Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones described in several of the usual terms given to those with unique physical gifts.
But teammate Mohamed Sanu came up with an altogether different image when asked to contrast the abilities of the two elite receivers he has worked with – A.J. Green in Cincinnati and Jones here with the Falcons.
“They are totally different, two different body types,” Sanu said. “They play two different styles. A.J. is really a finesse guy, runs routes different, real shifty. Julio is big and shifty and strong. He’s Xerxes.”
Did he just drop a reference to the towering Persian king who was the villain in the movie “300”?
Why, yes he did. “That’s what we call him,” Sanu said.
And he wasn't the only person this week to invoke that ancient war flick when speaking of Jones.
Washington's Josh Norman told Bleacher Report that covering Jones was like, "The sweet sensation of death without dying.
"It's like watching '300.' The sweetest thing to them in the ultimate battle is a sweet death. The sweetest thing to me in an ultimate battle is a Julio Jones."
In personality, Jones has nothing in common with that Persian king who engaged in the epic battle of Thermopylae against the outnumbered Spartans in 480 BC.
Jones is the quiet superstar. Xerxes was a megalomaniacal psychopath who was bent upon conquering the known world. He fits nicely in the pantheon of reviled of film villains.
What Sanu was going for here, though, was just the physical appearance, as Xerxes lorded his almost unnatural stature over all those around him.
So, here’s an idea. If you want to make a great opening statement Sunday have Jones enter the field done up like the character pictured above. It would suit the Super Bowl’s sense of grandeur perfectly.
And then have him say something pithy like: “Yours is a fascinating tribe. Even now you’re defiant in the face of annihilation, in the presence of a god.”