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Phone call from Giants put Blackburn's teaching career on hold

Chase Blackburn is a productive and well-compensated member of the New York Giants today, but the linebacker came very close to a far less glamorous reality.

Yes, instead of preparing for a Sunday clash with the defending Super Bowl champion Packers at Lambeau Field, Blackburn could have been in Dublin, Ohio, grading midterm papers and telling his students to turn off their cell phones 12 times daily.

"We had an eighth-grade math teacher going on maternity leave," Sells Middle School principal Rich Baird told The Star-Ledger on Monday. "I thought he'd be perfect for that."

Blackburn apparently has a gift for numbers, and a second career as a math teacher beckoned when the Giants opted not to re-sign him before the season. Following some fruitless workouts with other teams, Blackburn was ready to turn the page.

At least until the Giants were blown out by the Saints in Week 12. The team called Blackburn the next day, seeking to add depth to its depleted linebacker corps.

"We're going to have to put teaching on hold," Blackburn texted Baird after speaking with the Giants.

Blackburn has had a positive impact on a resurgent Giants defense, stepping up with a season-best nine tackles in last weekend's 24-2 win over the Falcons. It appears the calculator and Dockers can stay in storage for the foreseeable future.

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