Greetings, on this frigid in Beijing where, on this last day of Chinese Spring Festival, the locals are lighting off firecrackers to celebrate the Giants’ Super Bowl triumph!
…eh, let’s pretend that’s why they’re doing it.
Of all the leftovers from the Giants’ last Super Bowl win – Club 42, as I like to call them – I must say I’m happiest for Chase Blackburn. My only memory of Chase from Super Bowl 42 was of his cinematic, Bruce Willis-style leap toward the sideline, attempting to avoid a “too many men on the field” penalty on fourth down. Naturally Bill Belichick narc’ed him out to the refs, and the Patriots’ drive continued. Nobody likes a punk-ass snitch, Bill!
Everything worked out on that day, but I was still hoping to be left with a better Super Bowl memory of Chase – a scrappy player who made up for his lack of athleticism by having a name like Chase F&%#ing Blackburn. This season he joined Henry Hynoski and Bear Pascoe on the Dodge Ram/ Ford F-150 All-Badass Name Team.
(Note: Did anyone else notice that Bear Pascoe was the only tight end not to get injured? No surprise there - Bear Pascoe is so tough, even his own knee ligaments are scared to let him down.)
Seriously, how fitting was it that the ultimate interception of this season came from Chase Blackburn? I remember the despair I felt going into the season, when I looked at the roster and the huge, gaping hole in the defensive backfield after the injuries to Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara. Imagine, for a moment, that a time traveler had dropped in on me before Week 1:
Time Traveler: Don’t worry about the secondary, my man. The Giant’s will win the Super Bowl thanks to a second-half interception…from Chase Blackburn.
Me: Awesome! Wait a minute…Chase Blackburn doesn’t even play for the Giants anymore!
Time Traveler: Mwa-ha-ha…or so it would seem!!!
What a remarkable story: Chase Blackburn came in off the streets midseason and helped hold their deficient linebacker corps together.
And therein lies the genius of Giants GM Jerry Reese. He doesn’t make the sexy moves - he just makes the right moves. How many stories were written these past two weeks about the brilliant mad scientist Belichick using receiver Julian Edelman at defensive back: “Wideouts playing on defense? Doug Flutie dropkicks? Bill Belichick is the smartest man in the history of the world!”
Jerry Reese was faced with a similar shortage of linebackers. So what did he do? He went out and signed – I hope you’re sitting down for this – a linebacker! I can only imagine what was going through Belichick’s head as he watched Blackburn pick off Tom Brady:
Psshaw! Amateurs! Any moron can sign a linebacker to play linebacker. But I’ m Bill Belichick, dammit! I would have put in my punter! I would have activated my defensive coordinator, or even my mistress. But there’s no way in hell I would have used a linebacker. I’m the smartest coach in history!!!
Oh, and as for Julian Edelman: after all the hype, he didn’t play a down at defensive back…probably because he’s terrible at it. Maybe he can ask Chase Blackburn to lend him one of his two Super Bowl rings.