A former Zip made big moves in Super Bowl XLVI.

By: Christian A. Turner

Chase Blackburn, linebacker for the New York Giants, made a game-changing interception early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, propelling the Giants toward their fourth Super Bowl win.

Blackburn came out of The University of Akron in 2005 as an undrafted free agent. After six seasons of playing middle linebacker, he found himself without a job.

Prior to the Super Bowl, he spoke with Baskin and Phelps on 92.5 FAN CBS Cleveland radio.

“It doesn’t matter how I made the team. I made it and we’re back in the Super Bowl, that’s all that matters,” he said.

Blackburn had just begun to think about life after football. After six seasons of leading the Giants in tackles and being special teams captain, he described what he calls a humbling experience: Blackburn was not asked to return to the field for New York.

The lockout prior to the 2011-2012 season hit hard with many unrestricted free agents like Blackburn. They found themselves not being asked to return to teams they had played on just the season before.

Blackburn worked out with a few teams, but none of them asked him to come on board. After sitting the first 13 weeks of the season, Blackburn lined up a job as a substitute math teacher in Dublin, Ohio.

“It’s just been unbelievable for me to be everywhere I was this year,” he said, “trying out for teams and doing work outs, getting turned away and didn’t get that call to come back and help the team and end up down in the Super Bowl and starting,” he told Baskin & Phelps.

The Giants were down 17-15 early in the fourth quarter. Blackburn intercepted a pass from Tom Brady intended for 6-foot-6 tight end Rob Gronkowski. This turnover set the Giants up to seal their 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots.

Also a member of the Giants Super Bowl championship team is wide receiver Domenik Hixon. Hixon was a standout receiver for the Zips. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

Hixon was unable to play due to an ACL tear in his right leg.