Whenever too much pressure is laid on the heart, the safety valve releases and tears fall.
That’s exactly what happened to Champ Bailey last week when the Broncos played in and won their first playoff game in six years. Bailey stood in the southwest corner of the Mile High endzone and teared up not only after an emotional win, but also after an emotional season.
The 13-year veteran has seen many sandy beaches in Hawaii after going to the Pro Bowl year after year, but he’s never seen a Super Bowl ring on his hand.
Being on one end of the retirement scale, Bailey is only playing for one thing, and that’s the ring. That’s why upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers last week was such a bright spot.
“As a pro athlete, you kind of live for these moments,” Bailey said. “This is why you play. Be on the big stage, get out there and show what we can do as a team, that’s what motivates me to keep playing this game.”
Bailey had the longest non-scoring play in NFL history when he intercepted Tom Brady the last time these two teams met in the playoffs (2005). He picked No. 12 off near the goal line and ran it back 100 yards, down to the 1-yard line before being pushed out of bounds.
Bailey is the kind of corner that can make Brady and the like look like amateurs on certain occasions.
Bailey had 39 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble on the season.
Now if only Brady will throw in No. 24’s direction on Saturday. He’ll be there just like he was six years ago, and maybe we’ll see a tear again just like we saw one week ago.