Read in the Dispatch this morning about the return of Chase Blackburn to his hometown of Marysvlle. Hopefully, most pro-football fans are familiar with name - the linebacker of the New York Giants who made the key fourth quarter interception to help the Giants upset(Patriots fan) the New England Patriots in this year's Super Bowl XLVI. More importantly to me, is the road he took to get there.
Chase was a 6'1-200(maybe a little bigger) linebacker coming out of Marysville High School a few years ago. Not heavily recruited, but a solid prospect. At the time, I was concerned about his overall speed, but not about his toughness. He committed to Akron. He did so, with little recruiting hype from the "recruiting experts." At Akron, he developed into a very solid linebacker. Enough so, that some pro scouts took notice. Of course, it helped knowing some of the right pro scouts. Chase got his chance and went to the Giants.
The Giants released him last summer, but called him back late in the season. He kept his bag packed and turned down some sub-teaching jobs last fall in hopes of returning to the Giants. The rest is history. But that is not the "stuff" of this blog.
The "stuff" of this blog is what he was quoted in the article. The "stuff" is the message that he is trying to get out to young people. "Take pride in everything that you do. Be consistent in everything that you do and persevere. Because when an opportunity comes, you better be ready for it. You don't know if it will ever come again."
Chase probably did not hold a "signing day" press conference where he had five school hats and choose one over the other, or where adults were getting silly over his commitment to Akron. He may not have even held a school assembly to honor his signing.
What he had and, still has, is the desire to work hard to be the best that he can be. Not from St Ignatius HS, not from Glenville HS, not from Moeller HS, but from Marysville, Ohio. Not from Ohio State, not from Michigan, not from Florida, but from Akron University. Now, he is from the Super Bowl Champs - the New York Giants.
Chase Blackburn persevered and was ready when the "bell rang."