Clay Matthews goes one-up on the rest
Clay Matthews III comes from a rich football bloodline. His Grandfather played 4 years with The San Francisco franchise of the 50s. His Father was elected to 4 Pro Bowls in his 19 NFL seasons. And his uncle, after an NFL career spanning 18 seasons, is a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
There isn’t another player in America that entered last summer’s training camp with fewer NFL achievements to offer at a family gathering than this second-year Packers linebacker. But as the confetti fell on Sunday from the ceiling of Cowboys stadium, Clay achieved something the other Matthews’ didn’t in 41 professional seasons combined. He earned a Super Bowl championship ring.
Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh 31-25 to become the champions of Super Bowl XLV. And though Aaron Rodgers, who had a magnificent game, was named the MVP, this was a victory served by the defense.
The Packers forced three turnovers that led to 21 points, including an interception that was returned for a score. One of the biggest came at the beginning of the fourth quarter, when a Matthews hit dislodged the ball from Rashard Mendenhall and Green Bay recovered the fumble on its own 45-yard line. The result of the impact was game changing, as the Steelers were riding a wave of second half momentum and threatening to take their first lead of the game. The Pack would quickly make good on that turnover, as it did with others, and drive 55 yards for a touchdown that increased the lead to a more comfortable 28-17 with just under eleven minutes to play.
As the Clock expired on Steelers comeback hopes, Matthews went one-up on his family, with his time just beginning. He is now a 2-time Pro Bowl selection and first time Super Bowl Champion, after just two NFL seasons. On the opposing side, Troy Polamalu, the NFL Defensive Player of the year, suffered his first Super Bowl defeat in his third attempt. Congratulations is in order for both former Trojans, and not only for their tremendous seasons, but for also exemplifying through their play the true spirit of “Fight On”.
Note: Father, Clay Matthews Jr., was a member of the 1974 USC National Championship team. Uncle, Bruce Matthews’ No. 74 jersey is retired by the Tennessee Titans.