André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
There is hardly anywhere in the world where you cannot find a Jamaican, and when the New England Patriots take the field at the Lucas Oil Stadium today for their highly anticipated Super Bowl XLVI clash with their rivals the New York Giants, rest assured, there will be a 'Yardman' on the sidelines.
Twenty-four-year-old Patrick Chung, a third-year pro for the Patriots, was born in Kingston but fell in love with the sport when he migrated to the United States at the age of 10.
"I liked it (football) and wanted to try it, but my mom wanted me to swim. My dad was like, 'Go ahead and try it.' I tried it and liked it. I kept going from there, I guess," said Chung.
Now just hours away from his first career Super Bowl appearance, the safety is well aware of the task at hand; he will, after all, be partly responsible for trying to sedate the talented Giants receiving corps. In true Jamaican style, however, as far as Chung is concerned, top-rate receivers or not, covering them will be 'No problem, mon'.
"Just cover them. I mean, they're good, we're good. It's going to be a battle, they have a quarterback that's getting the ball to them and he's on fire right now so we are going to have to play hard, man. We'll have to play physical, play hard, play fast and play focused," said Chung, while answering questions at the Super Bowl's media day recently.
An NFL safety is expected to do a little bit of everything these days; from roaming the remote areas of the field as a last line of defence to sending running backs and wide receivers sprawling with big hits in the backfield, and 'hits' is something that #25 is quite accustomed to.
In addition to his 188 tackles, which go along nicely with a 3.0 sacks rate, five interceptions and 14 pass deflections, Chung has had an even more personal experience as far as 'hits' are concerned.
If you know the popular 1980s reggae anthem Girlie, Girlie, then you have already been introduced to his mother Sophia George-Chung, who shot to the top of the Jamaican and international charts after the 1985 release of the track.
man of the present
However, Chung is clearly a man of the present, focusing on the now, and there is no bigger 'now' than today's Super Bowl showdown.
"I mean, it's only my third year, man. You don't know progression until years and years into (your career). Some guys have been in the league for years and haven't made it. You've got to have the mentality to stay focused and always strive for perfection - just keep working hard," he replied to questions about how this year's Super Bowl will set him up for next season.
"I feel good. I've got no complaints; we're in the big show. So I mean, it's all good, man, I'm ready to go."
The Jamaican connection in today's game do not stop there as on the opposing sideline, wearing a New York Giants jersey, will be centre Kevin Boothe, son of Clarendon natives Charles and Pattreca Langley-Boothe.
He'll be wearing number the number 77 jersey and packing some 320 pounds. You simply cannot miss him.