New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich was not active for Super Bowl 46, but he will have a Super Bowl ring waiting for him next season. Herzlich has, perhaps, the best story of any player in the game and despite not playing in the Super Bowl, it's a great finish to the season for the young man.
It's been a wild year for Herzlich, who went undrafted, had to wait through the NFL lockout, then finally signed with the New York Giants. He even made his first NFL start in November against the Philadelphia Eagles. But the ride this year, even with the Super Bowl, doesn't come close to the struggle Herzlich faced in the past.
Herzlich was diagnosed with cancer, Ewing's Sarcoma to be specific, in 2009 while at Boston College. At the time, his draft stock was through the roof, but none of it mattered. He was fighting for his life and his chances of playing football seemed to be slim, if there were any at all.
Herzlich didn't just beat cancer, he whipped its ass. Some two years after the diagnosis, he'd not only made a recovery from it, he'd returned to the playing field, worked his way back up the ladder again and made the Giants roster as an undrafted free agent.
And then Herzlich got himself a ring as a part of a Giants squad that was basically an afterthought as the regular season wound down. The Giants were battling for the playoffs, sure, but were doing so in a terrible NFC East in a league dominated by the Packers, Saints and 49ers.
It doesn't even matter that Herzlich was inactive for the Super Bowl. He's got his health, he's cancer free and he's got a ring. The best story of the Super Bowl belongs to an inactive linebacker who somehow beat the odds, and cancer, to even make an NFL roster.