Snee still has drive to play
BY JOBY FAWCETT
Chris Snee has some fight left in him.
It’s a grind, maybe more than ever. But the fire still burns in the grad from Montrose.
After nine years of battling in the trenches of the National Football League, the New York Giants veteran right guard played in his fourth Pro Bowl Sunday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu helping the NFC team to a 62-35 victory over the AFC.
And while 149 career games have taken a toll on the 31-year-old, his desire to keep playing and pursue another Super Bowl championship drive the Montrose native.
“I have slowly seen my linemates come and go, and with that I have really learned to appreciate the time I have with such a class organization as the Giants,” Snee said. “I had the talk with my wife after the Super Bowl last season, and I said, ‘You know if I am beat up like that again, it’s going to be tough.’ And then we sat down again this season.
“I still love to play, though. I still feel that I can play at a high level and that I have a lot of football left. And I still feel that I have a lot to offer to this team.”
Since being drafted in the second round out of Boston College by the Giants in 2004, Snee has been one of the most steady and valuable pieces to the organization that has won a pair of Super Bowls during his tenure.
The three-time All-Pro (2008, 2009 and 2010) has been a part of an offensive line that at times was regarded as one of the best in the NFL. But it has gone through several makeovers.
Being the one constant, however, he has also endured and played through injuries.
This season, the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder suffered a partially torn hip labrum and is facing surgery, but it didn’t keep him off the field and it won’t keep him from playing in the Pro Bowl.
“I feel really good,” Snee said. “The hip feels good. I have had about three weeks to heal, so it feels a lot better. I put everything I have into this. I am still there at the facility at 5:30 a.m. every day watching tape. It’s a grind, but I still enjoy it.”
In 2012, once again, Snee started every game. However, the Giants missed the playoffs. One year removed from their second Super Bowl championship in five years, they seemed in control of the NFC East after eight weeks with a 6-2 record. Down the stretch, though, while playing for their playoff lives, the Giants lost three of their last five games and finished 9-7.
The Giants ranked sixth in the league with 26.8 points per game, and 14th with 116.4 yards rushing per game. The offensive line yielded just 20 sacks in 539 pass attempts.
“I think everybody is looking back, and it is frustrating knowing that we were able to go out to San Francisco and win, 26-3, and to beat a very good Green Bay team, but then not show up against Baltimore or Atlanta,” Snee said. “If we were able to get in, I believe we were as good as anybody out there. And to go 9-7 and win the NFC East and the Super Bowl one year and then go 9-7 this past season and not make the playoffs shows that you can’t have inconsistent play.”
As his career is winding down, he remains recognized as one of the best guards in the NFL and one of the best linemen in franchise history. He is the first Giants lineman to be named to at least four Pro Bowls since Hall of Famer Roosevelt Brown, who was selected to nine.
“This always means a lot,” Snee said. “It means a lot, too, because I am probably not capable of doing some of the things I did five years ago and we have some very good up and coming guards in this league. Once you get over 30, making the Pro Bowl doesn’t happen as much.
“It’s really a great honor to be recognized by the fans, players and coaches.”
Games played: 149
*Selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2004 draft out of Boston College.
*Two-time Super Bowl champion.
*Three-time All-Pro selection (2008, 2009, 2010).
*Has been selected for the Pro Bowl four times.