Victor Green is having one of those golden weeks that everyone should experience once in a while.
The well-respected former Jets safety is enjoying the launching of his first corporate deal for his new wine label, "Blitz," part of the "Pro Player Wine Series" that he created.
The book that his wife, Esther, wrote based on her and their daughter's 1999 carjacking, "Every Woman's Guide to Personal Safety," has just been published.
Victor turned 40 years old this week, so a birthday celebration was in order.
Oh, yeah, and Green's current team is playing his former team on Sunday.
In case Jets fans missed it, Green is in his first year in Tampa Bay's pro personnel department. And this weekend he'll welcome some old friends to the Tampa area before the Buccaneers take on the Jets on Sunday afternoon.
"I have to scout our opponents weeks before, so I actually turned in my report on the Jets last Friday and I'm on to Seattle now," Green told newyorkjets.com this week. "I don't look at this as a big game for me. I'm not playing. I'm looking more to having a great reunion with guys I know like Kerry Rhodes, Shaun Ellis, a lot of guys I played against."
In other words, we don't have to worry about Green, a starting safety on the Jets' "Four Decades Team" in 2003, getting the uncontrollable urge to put on the pads again and hit somebody hard?
"Nah, you don't have to worry about 21 up the middle anymore," he said with a chuckle.
But Jets fans and oenophiles alike can see 21 up the middle on the bottle of that wine that he and his partner, Jeff Boisineau, designed for their Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc and are now marketing. It's the diagram of an actual play, Blitz 21, that Green ran on occasion while patrolling the deep middle for the Jets from 1993-2001.
"I went out to Napa, to the vineyard and picked the grapes I wanted in the wine," Green recalled. "When I started drinking wine, I couldn't drink red wine, only white wine. It was good but it was sweet to me. For my wine, I had to tone it down, so I added vanilla, grape and pear just to get that bitterness and sweetness out of it to make it just right. We want to get over 90 points in our ratings — it's not a cheap wine. And people absolutely love it."
That includes another former Jet, quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who still lives in the Tampa area and had dinner and a glass or two of Blitz with Green last week and was very impressed.
Victor also has a plan for marketing different wines around the country, each one tailored to a different former NFL player, complete with a play diagram identified with that player, in his team's colors, on the label.
"We've got a red zinfandel coming out, too. I'm in the process of doing a wine here with the Buccaneers, called 'Dagger'," he said. "The theme is football for the men, hugs and kisses for the women on the labels. I think my label's going to say a lot to the average football fan. Up in New York there are still a lot of Victor Green fans. When people see the label, they say, 'Wow, I want to get that.' Then they find out it's an actual play. We have the description on the back.
"Scouting is my full-time job, but on the side when I get a little time, in the off-season Jeff and I make our trips doing what we've got to do. Just like a restaurant takes time to build a reputation, we're going to build this business as well."
Wine is clearly a Green passion, but so was and is football. Green finished his playing career with the Patriots in 2002 and the Saints in '03. He was an NFL analyst for Fox Sports Radio and for Comcast TV.
"Scouting was something I always wanted to do but I never pursued it," he said. "Then last year I went down to the Senior Bowl and I met up with Raheem Morris."
Morris is the Bucs' first-year head coach. He also was a coaching intern with the Jets in the Nineties. Green worked with him back then, and Morris returned the favor this past off-season. At first Green was a Tampa Bay coaching intern during minicamps and OTAs. Then the pro scouting position opened up, he interviewed for it and was offered the job in June.
Now, said Green, "I'm out there on the sidelines for the games. When we play the Jets, when we played the Patriots, I go out there, talk to the guys and kick around with them a little bit."
The offensive guys don't have to worry about any more blitzes from 21. But Green is still drawing up plays, and his travels, which used to take him to Foxboro, Miami, Orchard Park and Indianapolis, now can bring him to the NFC South locales of New Orleans, Atlanta and Charlotte, with an occasional detour to Sonoma, Calif., mixed in.