In the world of professional sports where players, more often than not, take the “Imma get mine” attitude, a rare story of brotherhood and sportsmanship has been developing. This inspirational subplot to the 2010 NFL season, which has been riddled with dirty play, hefty fines and soap opera scenarios, could only belong to a football team whose heart is True Blue.
The New York Giants pride themselves on being team players. Deon Grant said in the 11/28/10 post game interview,
“we’re a true family.”
There is no greater example of that than the relationship between Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs lost the starting running back position earlier in the year only to find himself with the job once more after Bradshaw had fumbling issues. While the starting job may go back and forth between them, their bond as teammates, friends and “brothers” continues to evolve.
After a crushing defeat over the Washington Redskins the two headed rushing machine of the New York Giants found themselves with new additions to their resumes. Ahmad Bradshaw recorded his first season with 1,000+ rushing yards. Brandon Jacobs became the fifth member in franchise history to rush for over 4,000 yards. Although BJ has found himself in the Giants record books yet again, his season does not come without its low points.
Jacobs was fined $10K for tossing his helmet into the stands at Lucas Oil Stadium in the 38-14 loss against the Indianapolis Colts. Brandon reported that his helmet ending up in the stands was unintentional. That didn’t stop Coach Tom Coughlin from benching #27 for the remainder of that game. He was fined another $20K for making obscene gestures and exchanging profanities with fans at Lincoln Financial Field in the 27-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. As a Giants fan, I can not fault Brandon for the issues in Philadelphia. Eagles fans can be more than just a bit trying on one’s patience.
Due to some irresponsible reporting, the rumor mill ran wild on Brandon Jacobs earlier in the season, citing him with a desire to be traded off of the team. This was refuted by Tom Coughlin and Ahmad Bradshaw the same day that this report was conjured up. That didn’t stop the newswires from blasting it all over the internet. Through all of the toils that Brandon Jacobs has had during this season, he has had his “faithful ward” to help him through.
In a postgame interview Jacobs said,
“I’m having a lot of fun playing. I think I am having more fun this year than I had in 2007 when we won the Super Bowl. I just want to continue having fun and winning.”
Jacobs is clearly in a different frame of mind than when he tossed his helmet. This could be largely due to the flowering friendship with fellow teammate Ahmad Bradshaw. The two have been each others support system and motivation to raise their level of play.
Bradshaw said of his mentor, Brandon Jacobs during the postgame interview this past Sunday,
“I love watching him just run through defenders. It kind of excites my game just for me to go out there and try to do the same. We’re brothers man. He’s my brother from another mother. He gets me pumped up before a game. He kind of talks to me when I’m down and the same way with him. I’m here for him anytime.”
At the postgame interview, after the Giants defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brandon Jacobs said the following about Bradshaw,
“Whenever Ahmad is out there and he’s running and some of the things he does – I just love watching him run. He gets me pumped up. When he gets out there I just do my best to root him on and support him and stay behind him 100%. We have a very, very strong relationship and it’s bigger than football to the both of us. Guys in the predicament that we’re in end up not liking each other. We do a lot of stuff together off the field. We have fun together. I want him to be as successful as possible and I want to be the same. So, I just root him on and keep going.”
In 2008, the running game of the New York Giants was explosive and was the best in the NFL. The triclopse known as “Earth, Wind and Fire” featured two RB’s with over 1,000 yards rushing. One of them was Brandon Jacobs. The other was Derrick Ward. Ahmad Bradshaw was used in key situations and had the longest run (77 yards) of the ’08 season. Ward left the Giants for more money and prominence after the ’08 season, only to find himself as a less effective backup on two different teams. This is an all too familiar trend in the NFL and why the bond between Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw is a power of example for fans and players around the league.
The class that these two backs display by supporting each other is unparalleled. It also indicates that these “brothers from other mothers” will be staying put once this season comes to a close. They have earned the rights to be on the New York Giants with their performances this season and are valued assets. Jacobs and Bradshaw prove that the old adage holds true, two heads are better than one. They way in which these two reinforce the other is inspiring. Players around the league should take heed of their example. These guys exemplify the term of team player.
The New York Giants come into a December that finds them in “must win” situations each week. Having a downhill running game in place is definitely a key to making a run for the playoffs. If “Earth” and “Fire” can continue running as they did against the Redskins this past Sunday they will find themselves running straight into January. Brandon Bradshaw, that’s one powerful running back!