Offensive stars tend to get all the glory, because they’re the ones who are usually directly involved in putting points on the board. It’s easy to ask someone who their favorite player is and have them spit out a quarterback or receiver’s name. And of course as exciting as Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin are to watch, for as long as I can remember watching football, it was always defense that caught my eye. For me, defense is king.
I love the guys who are that last line in keeping points off the board, who give it their all and make an impact with literal impact. Guys who play with force. If I had to draw up an ideal defensive back, Kam Chancellor fits the mold perfectly.
All of what the Legion of Boom represented was the defense of my dreams.
I remember sitting in my apartment in Queens watching Super Bowl XLVIII with my roommate, a die-hard Denver Broncos fan, and just absolutely reveling in the defensive show that Chancellor and the Seattle Seahawks defense was putting on. They made Peyton Manning look completely useless, quietly containing my joy as my roommate boiled with rage.
We all know the accolades Chancellor has racked up by now: Four-time Pro-Bowler, two-time second-team All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion and an absolute delight to watch on the field. There were few things I enjoyed more during a Seattle game than watching Chancellor absolutely level an opponent. I know that may sound a little barbaric, but hey, it’s not baseball.
Chancellor gave it his all, every time. Regardless of how close someone may have been to the end zone, he was the last line of defense, and if he could help it, no one was getting through:
I remember watching this game and thinking Chancellor hit Vernon Davis so hard I thought his head might pop off.
I, as a woman, could never play football growing up. Not that I was really built for it anyway. But when I was a kid, we would play in the street with some other boys from the neighborhood. My favorite part of the game every time, would be when we’d switch off for defense. I’d leap into to the air and snatch the ball away just as it was about to land in the neighbor kid’s hands, a smile on my face as I took off running. Watching Chancellor play gave me that same feeling; one of my favorite moments from Chancellor’s career that comes to mind during the 2014 NFC Divisional round game, when he robs Cam Newton:
I could spend hours pouring through Chancellor’s highlight reel of hits (and maybe I will?) — It’s a shame that in my first year covering the Seahawks, I won’t be able to share any new editions of Chancellor’s infamous hits. But as sad as we are to see him go, hopefully his legacy and leadership give us a second generation of boom.
Thanks for the memories, Kam.