Injured Woodson has Gipper moment, cries during halftime speech : Packers Insider

Injured Woodson has Gipper moment, cries during halftime speech

February 7, 2011 by  
Filed under News

By Chris Chase, Yahoo! Sports

~Just as he had after the Green Bay Packers won the NFC championship, Charles Woodson stood in the locker room and addressed his teammates. It was halftime of Super Bowl XLV and the 2009 NFL defensive player of the year had just been diagnosed with a broken collarbone, which he suffered in the second quarter of the game.

Late in the first half, the Steelers isolated their fastest player Mike Wallace and the aging Charles Woodson and sent him deep. Woodson stayed with him and made a diving attempt to pick it off. Unforunately, because Jerry Jones' stadium is rock hard ground, Woodon's collar bone broke on this seemingly-innocent play. Tony Romo broke his collar bone on the same field earlier in the season.

Woodson began to talk to his teammates, to try and tell them how much he wanted to win the title and how they’d need to do so without his presence on the field. One player compared it to the famous “win one for the Gipper” speech.

Only, Woodson couldn’t get out more than a few words before breaking down in tears. “I couldn’t do it,” Woodson said after the game. “I was just too emotional.”

Whatever he said appeared to work. Despite the loss of its star cornerback, Green Bay held off the Pittsburgh Steelers for a thrilling 31-25 victory in Super Bowl XLV. It’s the fouth Super Bowl title in franchise history for Green Bay.

Down & out, Woodson's season ends because of the rock-hard turf.

Fellow corner Tramon Williams said that the look on the Woodson’s face at halftime motivated him to go out “and do what we needed to do.” Other teammates echoed similar sentiments:

With And Without Woodson

Charles Woodson was a key part of Green Bay’s defense all year, here’s how the Packers fared with and without him Sunday against the Steelers.

With Without
Comp pct 52.9 69.6
TD-Int 0-2 2-0
Passer rtg 31.9 118.0
Score diff +18 -12
Woodson left game in 2nd quarter
— ESPN Stats & Information

That the Packers were able to overcome such a devastating loss was no surprise. The team lost six starters during the regular season, including key offensive threat Jermichael Finley.

Woodson's season ended in a sling, but he'll get his ring.

Losing Woodson was the biggest injury yet. Though the secondary initially struggled in his absence, the unit righted the ship to preserve Green Bay’s lead and guide the team to its first title since 1997.

Woodson appreciated the effort. While clutching the Lombardi trophy after the game, he spoke about his halftime speech. “I don’t think I’ve cried that much since I was a kid,” he said.

Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates in the locker room with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLV

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