â†µMIAMI -- Whenever fans discuss the sympathetic nature or the likability of this Saints team, they often pause to acknowledge that perhaps Jeremy Shockey doesn't quite fit that underdog mold. The guy has a repeated history of acting up and acting out. He alienated coaches and teammates in New York, where he made a name for himself in the pros. When the Giants did win the Super Bowl, people poked fun at Shockey as he stood helpless on the sideline in crutches in Arizona. â†µâ†µ
â†µShockey continued to complain in the months to pass, only to be dealt to New Orleans for a mid-round draft pick. Some speculated on whether his career was essentially over. Instead, he found a way to gibe with a cast of castoffs like himself. â†µ
â†µAge has mellowed the former star, insofar as Shockey can be mellowed. His two seasons in New Orleans have produced statistics below his career averages, yet he hasn't resorted to the bickering that marred his time with the Giants. Granted, some of the partying didn't entirely cease. One such notable offseason episode saw him pass out from dehydration during a party in Las Vegas this past summer. He didn't catch a single touchdown his first year with the Saints in 2008. But Shockey plugged away, content to be one of many talented contributors to whom Drew Brees distributes the ball. â†µâ†µ
â†µThere likely weren't a lot of people rooting for Shockey to make good on the Super Bowl appearance he was robbed of a few years back. That his second chance happened in his hometown was probably a better opportunity than Shockey has earned. Either way, he made the most of it. His numbers weren't dazzling (three catches for only 13 yards), yet he recorded one of the biggest moments of the game, catching the score that put the Saints up a touchdown with five minutes to play. â†µâ†µ
â†µIn postgame comments, Shockey was more sober than celebratory. "This game is very humbling. Any chance you get to make a play, a lot of hard work goes into that. I probably ran that route a thousand times in my career, and I've caught a couple touchdowns off it, but only one in the Super Bowl. It was a great play and a great throw by Drew and a great call by Sean." â†µâ†µ
â†µYou can argue that it's easy to sound mature when you get what you want. But it's even easier to be immature about it. Perhaps Shockey did learn through his stumbles after all. â†µâ†µ
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