Each week, I get to sit down with different 49ers players and alumni for the team's only player-focused podcast, discussing the upcoming game week and leading players through fan-submitted questions about football, life and everything in between. Defensive back Jimmie Ward joined the 49ers "You've Got Mail" podcast presented by Manscaped to share more about his nine seasons with San Francisco and discuss his off-the-field interests.
Here are five things we learned about Ward:
Ward is originally from Racine, Wisconsin and still has ties to the Badger State. Lots of his family are still die-hard Green Bay Packers fans, and he shared some memories from playing at Lambeau Field.
Ward: "A lot of my family members are Packers fans. Some of them are 49ers fans because I play here. I have a cousin, Caron Butler, who used to play in the NBA, and he'll come to a 49ers game, especially when we play the Packers. He'll be like, 'Man, cousin, you know the Packers are my team, but I'm going to root for you.'"
"I know I have to go out there (Lambeau Field) and play. If you ever watch my Packers game, I have some decent games because I know I have a lot of family members that watch."
Over his nine seasons with the team, the veteran defensive back has definitely gone through some style changes. He shared some of his feelings about the fashion evolution he's had over the years.
Ward: "I stepped my game up. When I first got in the league, I wasn't really thinking about the outfits and stuff. Now, it's different. I'm trying to look good. I started to mix it up. I'm not going to the store and dressing like a mannequin. I'm throwing my own flavor in there, and paying attention, a little bit, to fashion."
The 49ers Week 11 Mexico City trip was Ward's first time in Mexico. Like several other players described, the experience was an unforgettable one for him.
Ward: "It was crazy, I'm not going to lie. It was mainly 49ers fans, well I don't know, I saw a few Arizona fans. It was hard to tell because both of our main colors are red, but it looked like mainly 49ers fans. It was crazy. It took forever to get to the field and then get back to the locker room at halftime. That walk was a real workout. But, other than that, I loved it. It was a lot of fans, and that stadium was huge. It was my first time playing outside the country, and it was my first time in Mexico. I'm definitely going back."
Ward is an accomplished defensive back on the field, and off the field, he enjoys cooking on his spare time.
Ward: "They told you I cook? Yeah, I cook. I make a lot of different things. I like making different pasta dishes. I'm a big pasta guy. I'm eating pasta (right now). I'd eat pasta everyday."
With the holidays quickly approaching, gift giving is top of mind for a lot of people. Ward shared his favorite gift he's ever received from a holiday gift exchange.
Ward: "The best one that I ever had was from Antoine Bethea. He got me, it was the first time I ever had some Saint Laurent designer. I didn't know what it was. He got me a shirt and some shoes. I didn't even know what Saint Laurent was, and ever since then, I've been shopping there."