New York Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn probably doesn't calculate the force of every tackle he makes (Force = mass x acceleration), but he could if he wanted to. More importantly, he could also teach your eighth-grade kid how to do it.
And that's exactly what he would be doing if the Giants hadn't had a string of injuries earlier this year.
Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger tells Blackburn's story. Blackburn, who graduated from Akron with a degree in mathematics, was ready to accept an eighth-grade teaching position in Marysville, Ohio. But at about that same time, the Giants were losing linebackers Mark Herzlich and Michael Boley to injury, so they called Blackburn.
And now he's a key cog in a Giants defense that's heading to Green Bay this weekend to try to dethrone the world champs.
Here's a bit more from the Star-Ledger:
"That guy, he plays special teams, he plays in our dime package, he plays in our base package," defensive end Justin Tuck said, before adding with a smile: "For a white linebacker, he's pretty versatile."
Even Tuck was baffled that the Giants, with a defense ranked near the bottom of the league, waited until Week 12 to summon Blackburn. "I have no idea why he wasn't on the football team all this year," Tuck said, which is a question Blackburn had been asking, too.
It kind of makes you wonder ‒ how many guys are out there teaching math, waiting tables, doing tax returns or selling insurance, because they ended up just one bad break away from anchoring an NFL defense?
Fortunately for Blackburn (and the Giants), the timing worked out for him, and his current job probably pays a little better than that of a middle school teacher in Ohio. There'll be plenty of time after his career to educate America's youth. For now, his job is to figure out how to stop the Packers offense ‒ maybe just as challenging as getting a room full of 13-year-olds to mind their decimal points.
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