|Tickets, family, cold, brauts: Rich Seubert on the NFC title game|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 16 January 2008 23:46|
``Got any tickets for Sunday?''
There is a demand in the Seubert household for tickets to the NFC title game in Green Bay, Wis., against the Packers.
Parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends.
Rich Seubert is going home to Wisconsin with a chance to earn a trip to the Super Bowl. Not bad for a guy whose career was in jeopardy after he suffered multiple fractures of his right leg when it was stepped on by N.D. Kalu of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003.
He missed all of the 2004 season while undergoing five operations that left his leg scarred. He didn't regain his starting left guard job on a full-time basis until this season.
That's history, though.
One of the team's notorious jokesters, there were white stains on the rug and wall near his locker.
``Shaving cream?'' someone asked, quickly implicating backup center Grey Ruegamer.
Seubert laughed and allowed himself to talk about playing in Lambeau Field for the first time in his career.
``Growing up in Wisconsin doesn't mean you are a Packers fan,'' said Seubert, who has attended about a dozen games at the stadium made famous by Vince Lombardi and his great teams of the 1960s. ``You get the shivers walking in there. It's a great place. It will be interesting. I will enjoy it.''
A three-sport athlete at Columbus High School in Marshfield, Wis., where he was a member of state championship teams in football and basketball, Seubert thinks he has purchased enough tickets for his family. Other relatives either own tickets or have bought them.
Seubert expects them all to be wearing Giants shirts bearing his name on Sunday.
``I think if your son plays for the New York Giants, you are going to root for your son,'' said Seubert, alluding to his parents, Thomas and Ann. ``If you don't, you don't have a son anymore.''
Seubert wasn't so certain about one of his uncles.
``I said if I get you a ticket, you're not going to be wearing a Cheesehead on your head,'' Seubert said. ``I'm paying. Family is family. Who cares about a team when you have family involved.''
Family is important to Seubert. He's one of those bearded, beer-barreled blue-collar guys who likes simple pleasures - hunting, fishing, the outdoors. Family tops the list, though - both the people who are your blood relatives and the ones with whom you work.
As he talked about returning to Wisconsin, a reporter asked him about the highs and lows quarterback Eli Manning has gone through this season.
Seubert didn't hesitate with his answer.
``How many wins do we have? Twelve?'' Seubert barked. ``We have 12 wins. He has been playing well all year. It's hard to get 12 wins playing in the NFL. Eli has been our quarterback. He has been playing well the last two years. He's only in his fourth year in the league and we are in the NFC championship.''
The lineman who was bypassed by the University of Wisconsin - ``We don't talk about the Badgers'' - and then played at Western Illinois, thinks many people also are underestimating the Giants (12-6), the winners of nine straight on the road.
``We've had a chip on our shoulder all year,'' he said. ``No one thought we would be here. They thought Dallas and Green Bay would be playing in the game. Well, it's the Giants and Green Bay. It's going to be fun.''
Fun for the offensive line will be playing in single-digit cold without sleeves. He wore them once in high school, but never again.
``The benches are heated. They have heating on the sidelines. When you are playing, you are not caring. How cold can it be?'' Seubert said. ``I grew up there. How cold can it be? Seven degrees! That's pretty warm. I went home last year in February and it was minus 20 for a week straight. It was minus 20 with the wind chill. It was miserable.''
If anyone is going to wear any extra clothes, it's Seubert wife, Jodi. He has heated hunting pants he intends to give her along with some clothes he bought.
As for the game, Seubert is just like the other linemen. He wants to clear paths for Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to run the ball, setting up Manning for some big play-action passes.
``We are going there to play a good football game and try to win,'' Seubert said. ``We don't care what happened in the past. We care what happens on Sunday.''
The only regret about playing on Sunday in Lambeau is that Seubert won't get a chance to tailgate before the game. He has been known to wolf down six or seven brauts with sauerkraut and mustard.
``Maybe after the game my parents will save me some,'' he said.
And maybe after the game, he'll have to start buying Super Bowl tickets, too.