He will be sitting in Section 117, Row 26 watching and waiting and even hoping for his son to match wits Sunday with Tom Brady.
“I was a big Patriots fan, and a big Tom Brady fan, which I still am,” Louis Pinnock told the Post. “I can’t wait to see him on the field against Tom Brady.”
His son is Jason Pinnock, a Jets’ fifth-round draft choice out of Pitt who switched from cornerback to free safety against the Jaguars because of the Jets’ COVID emergency. Intercepting Brady isn’t only his dream. It would now be his father’s dream, too.
“I told him last night,” Louis Pinnock was saying Tuesday, “ ‘Listen man, if you get a pick, I don’t care if Tom says no, but ask him to sign it for you, so I can get the ball.’ Now I’m pretty sure Tom’s not gonna do it, not for a pick. It’s all right though. I told him, ‘Just ask.’ ”
And if Jason Pinnock were to intercept his first NFL pass against Tom Brady?
“I think you’re gonna have to hold me from not running on the field,” Louis Pinnock said. “Only because of COVID, I probably won’t run on the field because of all the protocol, I think they’ll tackle me. But if it wasn’t, I would probably run down the stairs, jump over the fence and go give him a hug and get the ball from him. I’ll try to restrain myself. I’m gonna go crazy, I know that much.”
Jason Pinnock is 22. Tom Brady is 44.
“I think I was in the womb when he was in college or something like that,” Jason Pinnock said on a Zoom call. “I’m a young guy gonna go against a wise old goat, so looking forward to it.”
A rookie can say he is looking forward to it during the week. Come Sunday at 1, the sight of TB12 up close and personal often leaves them starstruck.
“Oh not him,” Louis Pinnock said. “If anything, it’s gonna make him want to just play harder. He’s not rattled. He turns the page if something bad happens. He’ll be nervous, but it’s not gonna affect him as far as how he’s able to perform.”
His son was drawn to Pitt in part because he idolized former Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.
“You know how Revis has Revis Island, so we used to call it Pinnock Island all the way through high school,” Louis Pinnock said.
There was a period, however, when his son was thinking about giving up football for basketball at Windsor (Conn.) High School.
“Going into his sophomore year in high school I think he really started to doubt himself a little bit,” Louis Pinnock said. “It was a trying time.”
It wasn’t long before the boy regained his love for the game.
“He wants to win every play, which can be good and bad,” the father said. “He’s a fighter. He’s just an all-around, real good football person in the sense that he knows the game very well and you’re not gonna be able to tell him something that doesn’t make sense and try to make sense of it because he knows the game.”
Safeties Elijah Riley and Ashtyn Davis are due back for the Jets against the Bucs, but Pinnock earned playing time with a forced Trevor Lawrence fumble at the goal line and breaking up a pass against Marvin Jones Jr.
“I’m versatile,” Jason said. “You can use me how you want.”
His 91.2 PFF run defense grade (86.7 overall) led all NFL defensive players on Sunday.
“I’m kinda weird, I love adversity, I love change, I love being uncomfortable,” Jason said.
Louis Pinnock was the defensive coordinator on the Windsor Giants B youth team when he learned how much the young boy hated to lose. Jason’s last-gasp pick-six got them to the championship game.
“And the first thing he said to me, he was like, ‘Dad, I almost couldn’t catch it ’cause I was already crying ’cause we lost,’” Louis said.
The boy is all grown up now, 6-foot, 205 pounds, No. 41 in your program. Robert Saleh should have seen enough from his COVID hotel room to trust Jason Pinnock, as much as any of his young pups, against the GOAT.
“I’m not wishing Tom a good game at all,” Louis Pinnock said.
“I hope he throws six interceptions.”
Or at least one. To his son.