Monday, January 23, 2012

Chasing Another Super Bowl

I'm a life-long New York Giants fan.

That being said, this season has brought every emotion possible.  There have been rousing regular season wins (Patriots), horrible losses (Redskins...twice) and blueprints for later success (Packers).  The playoffs are a whole other emotion.  What a wild ride it has been leading up to another Super Bowl appearance for the New York Football Giants.

But my favorite story of this season is one that is largely forgotten...

Chase Blackburn's return to the NFL.

Math Teacher, Hard Hitting Linebacker
Blackburn was an undrafted pickup for the G Men in 2005, he was also part of their 2007 Super Bowl run (although he sported a different number, 57).  He was a hard hitting, hustling linebacker who for 4 straight seasons played in all 16 games.  But after the 2010 season he was an unrestricted free-agent and nobody picked him up.  He practiced with a couple teams, but eventually went on to teach middle school math (he graduated with a math degree from Akron).  His life after football had begun...until an injury and a phone call made him the final piece to the Deja-Blue puzzle the G Men needed to make it back to the Super Bowl.

Blackburn had spent the first 12 weeks of the season watching his former team struggle, through the ups and downs.  He wisely stayed in shape so when the Giants called, he answered physically and metaphorically.  A couple of hours after the phone call Blackburn was on a plane to NJ, practicing the next day and starting in the week 13 match up against the then undefeated Packers.  You couldn't script it better...a week prior Blackburn was picking equations to put on math tests for his middle schoolers, the next week he was picking off Aaron Rodgers to help the Giants give the Packers their first real test of the season and eventually knocking them off in the playoffs...a win that was largely sealed by a 40 yard fumble return by none other...Chase Blackburn.

Blackburn's 40 yard fumble recovery
I love watching the Giants.  I especially love the way on every play, defense or special teams, Chase Blackburn is somewhere to be found around the ball.  Whether it's making the tackle, being the first guy there to congratulate the Giant who did, or to pick them up, dust them off and give them the "we'll get 'em next time" helmet smack.  Just watch, he always has the dirtiest uniform on the field.

Welcome back Mr. Blackburn
As well all know this Super Bowl coming up is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII.  For Blackburn the only thing different for him is the number on his back.  His will, determination and toughness never changed.  He knows as well as anyone else, on any given Sunday your (new) number may be called to make a difference.
New number, same toughness

Eli is Elite.
5 for the road...aka an NFL Record

1 comment:

  1. Let the games begin! Congratulations to all the Giants fans out there. I would say that i'd like to see you win, but that may not be true. Either way, lets make it a good game!