Shockey derides himself after loss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.:It was nearly 2 a.m. on Tuesday when tight end Jeremy Shockey came back to his locker. Most of the New York Giants had already departed into the gloomy aftermath of an overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Shockey wore his baseball cap backward, but all other signs of his youthful defiance were gone.

In their place was a tortured look of failure.

"It was a very poor performance by me," Shockey said. "I really don't know what else to say. I've never had anything else like that before. It's going to happen. Everybody has told me that, but I definitely didn't think that would happen tonight."

The list of Shockey's mistakes was long. He dropped an easy touchdown pass. He had several other dropped balls on potential big plays. He fell down on a route that helped lead to an interception. He later caught a 1-yard touchdown pass. He generally blocked well. But that was not nearly enough to erase the mistakes.

"I'm paid a lot of money to help this team win, and tonight I felt like I'd give it all back," Shockey said. "I felt bad. I still feel bad. It's going to be tough for me to get over this one."


In a reversal of his recent evade-any-attention stance, Shockey stayed and answered questions until they stopped. He offered no excuses, a few explanations, but mostly he beat himself up. He called it the worst game of his life.

"It just feels like a lot of people out there want me to fail more than they want me to succeed, and that's fine," he said. "As a pro athlete, you have to take the criticism, and that's fine. I'll take it for this game, and I really feel like I let my teammates down, and more importantly, myself."

By the time Shockey was done, he had shoved aside an off-season full of controversy and drew the focus back to himself on the field. This is what is important, he said. And he was the last one left at Giants Stadium to talk about it.

Source: New York Times News Service

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