Peter Richmond of CNN Sports profiles New England Patriots RB Danny Woodhead, calling him the “everyman” and “underdog”
Here’s an excerpt:
“Woodhead does it all consistently enough, with at least one spectacular head-shaking play per game, to have just been awarded a contract through 2012 that (with incentives that no one now doubts he’ll meet) is worth more than $3 million — which isn’t small change for a small guy who, three months ago, with a pink slip from the Jets in hand, was driving back home with his wife to Nebraska in his ’08 Tahoe. Without a job.
So is he now going to upgrade the ride?
“Nope — no way,” Woodhead says, his eyes low-lidded, his face routinely expressionless. Every now and then, his joy at being in dreamland comes through, and a smile creases his little-kid face, the grin like an explosion. You might have glimpsed it on the sideline against the Jets (four catches, 104 yards) when a teammate came by to slap his shoulder pad. You get the feeling that his high school buddies see this grin a lot, back home in North Platte, where he’s just Danny Woodhead.
But trust me: We won’t see the unguarded glee too much in the camera-lit near future, as Woodhead goes from anomaly to spotlight. Surrounded by media in this plush locker room (not just a locker room, but the Patriots’ locker room, where the first thing rookies are shown on an indoctrination tour is the Patriot emblem, the way a rookie Egyptian pharaoh might be shown King Tut’s mummy) Woodhead’s face is intentionally impassive, as if to deflect any and all attention.
As if somewhere deep down he doesn’t entirely trust all of this attention. As if, having nurtured his college craft playing against teams like the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers and the Washburn-Topeka Ichabods, the sudden spotlight, the sudden impulse of take-myself-too-seriously, might prove to be a Samson haircut.
“Why get a different car?,” Woodhead says. “I’m tellin’ you man, I’m going to be the same person I’ve always been.”
So the sudden money means nothing?
“Unh-unh. Not at all,” he says. “That’s not what I’m playing for. You know what I’m sayin’? It’s my job. I’m older now. And I’m married, and I need a job. The money is not something I think about. It’s not something I ever want to think about. That’s not what I’m about. That’s not who I am.”
Read the full article at: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/the_bonus/12/08/danny.woodhead/index.html#ixzz17Xliked1