Shockey looking to erase pain of Giants’ title run
METAIRIE, La. – The pain is still there for Jeremy Shockey(notes), lurking all of about one layer of skin from the surface. It bubbles to the exterior like blisters on a redhead’s shoulders after 30 minutes in the sun.
Shockey had 48 catches, 569 yards and 3 TDs in the regular season.
It doesn’t take much to understand that Shockey, the New Orleans Saints tight end who is expected to play Sunday in the NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings despite a troublesome knee injury, still harbors deep feelings from two years ago at this time. That’s when his time with the New York Giants was coming to an end just as the team was closing in on a Super Bowl title.
The hurt is so profound that he wears it on the black ski cap he sported Thursday. On the rim of the cap, just below the Saints symbol, the letters BOPP were embroidered in white. It stands for Brotherhood of Perpetual Pain, a subgroup within the New Orleans team of guys who endure a little more than the usual pain that goes with playing in the NFL.
Shockey was asked at if “Perpetual Pain” was a good way to describe his career.
“No [expletive],” Shockey said. “Yeah I’ve had some pain over the years, some injuries. I’d like to think I gave some other people some pain, some injuries. But that’s just the game, that’s why I play at 100 percent.”
But the pain has been more than a broken leg or toe or tweaked knee or one of the many injuries Shockey has suffered over the years. Shockey’s pain is also emotional. Anyone who saw him the night the Giants beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII could see the pain on his face.
Two years later, Shockey still feels it.
“Not being able to play [in the Super Bowl] with the Giants when I [broke] my [left] leg, it was hard to say the least,” Shockey said. “[I was] very depressed for weeks.”
With another opportunity so close within reach, Shockey admits a trip to Miami for Super Bowl XLIV is on his mind … even when he’s sleeping.
“The dream, like you said, I get, not revenge, but that karma comes back to me and we’ll be able to play in the Super Bowl,” Shockey said.
In a league where players are not supposed to display vulnerability, Shockey is at the opposite end of the emotional scale. His openness is fascinating and, to some people, attractive. Former teammate and good friend Plaxico Burress(notes) talked at length about how women would regularly approach Shockey because he was so open.
At the same time, teammates and coaches are almost taken aback at times. As Shockey walked through the locker room on Thursday to address a group of reporters, one teammate whimsically said, “Here comes Mickey Rourke,” comparing Shockey to the on-edge actor.
Coaches jokingly say that Shockey is “nuttier than squirrel [expletive].” Defensive end Will Smith(notes) and quarterback Drew Brees(notes) both smiled when asked about Shockey’s antics.
“He’s special now,” Smith said. “Definitely out there.”
That’s an assessment not even Shockey counters.
“My head is always messed up, you know I’m a loose cannon,” Shockey said. “There have been plenty of coaches [who have tried to tell me to calm down]. This is the way I’ve always played and I’m not going to change my game. The minute I lose my emotion, that’s the day I will retire … I won’t even retire I’ll just walk away, [go to] Brazil.”
“He definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve,” Brees said. “… What I love about Jeremy is that he wants the ball, he wants to make the play and when he gets it, he’s probably running somebody over.”
That’s also part of Shockey’s problem. His eagerness to play hard at every moment has sometimes hurt him, leading to injuries as he tried to fight through multiple tacklers.
What drives Shockey are slights, the feeling of being disrespected or unwanted. That’s one of the reasons he remembers all the hardships from New York, barely hiding them from view.
When asked about the difference between how he’s fit in better with the Saints than the Giants, Shockey took a veiled shot at Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
“[It’s] because of [Saints coach] Sean [Payton] and the way they respect the players,” Shockey said. “They do a great job of communicating. They’re very good people persons, they’re good interacting with players. I’m not going to say any names but you know what I’m saying. There, they can’t interact with players. Here, they can, so that’s the special bond we have. It’s a special thing to be a part of.”
Even more special to Shockey is playing with a poised veteran passer instead of a developing young star.
“At the Giants it was a tough six years there. Not in terms of the injuries, but just taking hits and being with a quarterback [Eli Manning(notes)] who was learning on the job, not like a guy who is polished already like Drew. He can put it where you don’t get your receiver hurt or injured. Eli has bounced back, I’m proud of him. He’s had a hell of a past couple of years and he seems like he has his game polished up. My hat goes off to him.
“But the guy here is just something different. … He has the same passion that Brett [Favre] has. It’s amazing the preparation the guy does. How emotional he is, he’s like a defensive guy playing quarterback … I get here at 6:30 in the morning, 5:30 in the morning sometimes. Maybe if I want to beat Drew here I’ll show up at four in the morning. Somehow that never works out, I think he has a damn room upstairs and he sleeps here. I can’t ever beat him here.”
At this point, Shockey is more concerned with beating Minnesota and playing in his first-ever Super Bowl.
Shockey looking to erase pain of Giants' title run - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Re: Shockey looking to erase pain of Giants’ title run
SHOCKEY! SHOCKEY! SHOCKEY! Show my boy some love Sunday night folks. He deserves it. I like him just the way he is, and I predict him and the Mullet will be jawing at it, at some point in the game, mark my words. I will be sporting the 88 tomorrow! SHOCKEY! Hell yeah.
Re: Shockey looking to erase pain of Giants’ title run
Big game from Shock = Saints win. Rock 'em Shockster! :bartinator:
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