After the 2011 NFL lockout, New York Giants LB Chase Blackburn was a free agent waiting for the phone call to come back and play. That call never came. Not from the Giants. Not from anyone.
Week 1 arrived, and he was still unemployed.
But that didn’t stop Blackburn from believing he would play football again. He stayed hopeful and he kept training. He was on his way to getting a job as a math teacher when his phone rang on November 29th. It was the Giants.
The defense was riddled with injuries and a spot was cleared on the roster for Blackburn’s return. 12 weeks into the regular and he finally took the field against the Green Bay Packers. This is what happened:
Though the Giants went onto losing that game, the Blackburn interception turned out to be one of the bigger plays to keep the Giants in the game.
Blackburn went onto starting at middle linebacker for the remaining four regular season games and all playoff games. Giants fans will remember forever when he became a Super Bowl XLVI hero for this play against the New England Patriots:
I think Blackburn hurt Tom Brady’s feelings…
To me, the Blackburn story is a remarkable one. Here is guy who was unemployed, about to become a dad, and still held onto the idea that he would get that phone call to return to the NFL.
The Giants made sure they held onto Blackburn for at least one more season by giving him an $800,000+ contract, and he’ll be a free agent AGAIN in 2013.
He is now the starting middle linebacker going into training camp this coming August.
Talk about going from missing almost an entire season, to proving you belong by making a statement on the field in such a short amount of time.
I tip my cap off to Chase Blackburn, and I hope he’s a Giant for a long time.