BY JOBY FAWCETT
It’s a reward for excellence at the end of a grueling season, but Chris Snee has more important things on his mind.
On Tuesday, the former Montrose and Boston College standout continued to verify his status as one of the finest offensive linemen in the National Football League with his election to the Pro Bowl as a starter.
But on Sunday, his focus was helping the New York Giants gain a victory over the Washington Redskins to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
Although the Giants won 17-14 over the Redskins, they needed the Chicago Bears to beat the Green Bay Packers to make the playoffs. Unfortunately for Snee and the Giants, Green Bay won that contest 10-3.
“It is definitely an honor to be picked,” said Snee, “but I would give that up for a shot at going to the Super Bowl and playing in the playoffs.”
Since he was a high school player at Montrose, Snee has been determined to succeed in football.
A dominating and devastating player for the Meteors, he is considered one of the best linemen to ever play in the state according to a poll conducted by the Pennsylvania Football News.
After his senior season, Snee earned The Times-Tribune Defensive Player of the Year honor after overwhelming opposing offensive linemen.
Snee got bigger and stronger and became a star at Boston College, eventually becoming a second-round pick of the Giants in 2004. Since then, the 6-foot-3, 317-pound guard has started all 113 games he has played in his career.
He played an integral role in the Giants run to the Super Bowl title in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, Snee also made the Pro Bowl.
“I have always worked hard since high school,” the 28-year-old Snee said. “People said I came from a small town, I wouldn’t make it. Then my size was questioned. I proved all of them wrong. I always wanted to be the best that I could at whatever I did. I put in hours in the weight room and the film room. I have been fortunate to play with great guys around me. Guys who have been and should be recognized as Pro Bowlers.
“I am proud of what I have done, and hopefully I’m not done”
Ups and downs
Before the year began, Snee and his wife, Katie, Giants coach Tom Coughlin’s daughter, welcomed their third child.
Walker Ryan arrived Aug. 30.
“He’s a great baby,” Snee said. “We can’t complain. He’s been easy.”
Snee’s other sons, Dylan and Cooper, are both football fanatics already, who pay very close attention to the Giants’ results.
“He took that Philadelphia loss (two weeks ago) pretty bad,” Snee said. “I had to console him.”
That game — where the Eagles rallied for 28 fourth-quarter points for a 38-31 victory — has mirrored the Giants’ roller-coaster ride of a season.
This season, the Giants had at times been considered the best team in the NFC. After a five-game winning streak that included impressive wins over Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Seattle, they were leading the standings.
A pair of losses to Dallas and Philadelphia stung.
But the Giants rebounded with a three-game winning streak that had them on the precipice of another postseason with a 9-4 record.
Then came the eight-minute, fourth-quarter collapse against Philadelphia two weeks ago, and a devastatingly lopsided loss to Green Bay, and now the season hangs in the balance today.
“It’s the nature of the game that there are going to be ups and downs,” Snee said. “We were up, then we lost to Philadelphia, then we got back and really won the first 3½ quarters against the Eagles. We were eight minutes away from making the playoffs.
“It is frustrating. We know what kind of team we have and what kind of noise we can make if we can get into the playoffs.”