INDIANAPOLIS (BP) — For much of the season, Chase Blackburn watched the NFL season the way millions of other fans did — from his couch. He ended the season, however, in the middle of the New York Giants Super Bowl victory celebration.
“God gave me another opportunity to play,” Blackburn said at the Super Bowl media day Jan. 31. “I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
A six-year veteran linebacker with the Giants, Blackburn became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2010 season and fully expected to continue his career in 2011. But no team was interested, so he had begun pursuing a second career as a teacher.
But his future in the classroom had to wait when the Giants signed him prior to their week 13 game against Green Bay on Dec. 4.
In Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI win over New England in Lucas Oil Stadium, Blackburn made one of the game’s biggest plays.
Covering New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, Blackburn intercepted a Tom Brady pass at the Giants’ 8 yard line with 14:20 left in the fourth quarter and New York trailing 17-15.
“I saw [Gronkowski] look back so I looked back for the ball,” Blackburn said. “When I spotted it, I tried to block out and go up for a rebound like in basketball.”
Blackburn also made six tackles in a game that was only a dream just a few weeks ago.
“God was the only one who could get me back in this game,” he said. “He had to provide the opportunity, and He did. It took till week 13 when we played Green Bay for the opportunity to come, but I just promised Him that if he gave me the opportunity, I’d be ready for it.”
Tim Ellsworth is editor of BPSports (www.bpsports.net) and director of news and media relations at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. To access Ellsworth’s pre-Super Bowl stories — on Giants backup quarterback David Carr and New England Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater, go to http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37106 and http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=37088. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).