INDIANAPOLIS -- It might have been the single most improbable play of Super Bowl XLVI:
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The star tight end, hobbled by a sprained left ankle, rose to get the ball, only to find himself being challenged by linebacker Chase Blackburn.
Chase Blackburn? The guy signed off his living room couch in November? What was he doing back there?
"We were in a defense where I had to carry him vertical all the way down the field,'' Blackburn said of Gronkowski. "[Brady] had a lot of time. I think he busted out of a sack and he just threw it up for grabs. I finally found the ball. I just tried to box him out and go up and get the ball.''
Blackburn came down with it at the Giants' 8-yard line. It would be the only turnover of the game for either team.
"I can't say I'm the fastest linebacker in the league,'' he said. "I just thank my teammates for doing their job.''
The play was partial redemption for being beaten earlier on Brady's 12-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez. "I played a bad technique,'' Blackburn said. "He ran a good route and I let our team down on that play. Obviously, I was happy to make it up a little bit with the interception, but it wouldn't mean anything if we didn't win the game.''
It was a storybook ending to a story that seemed too good to be true.
"It's unbelievable,'' Blackburn said. "Only God could draw this up. Nobody else could ever have imagined this."