Aaron Ross, former Longhorn standout and starting New York Giants cornerback, had every reason to be distracted leading up to Super Bowl XLVI. He’d faced early-season criticism, then suffered a concussion less than a month ago.
That was enough adversity for any athlete. But then, just two days before Super Bowl Sunday, Ross lost his maternal grandfather, 68-year-old Edwin Ross, to liver cancer back in his native San Antonio. Edwin Ross had excelled in football, basketball, and track in his younger days; clearly, his grandson had inherited his speed and agility.
Watching Ross, ’06, on the field Sunday, you’d never have known about his tragic loss.
With energy and purpose, Ross came out firing in the biggest game of the year, clobbering two Patriot players in the first quarter to help set the tone for the Giants’ hard-nosed defense. Ross finished the game with only three tackles, one of which was for a loss, but played the majority of snaps and certainly did his part to help hold one of the best offenses in the NFL to 17 points.
Despite a final Hail Mary from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that could have won it in the end, the Giants defense did just enough to hold on for 21-17 victory. For his efforts, Ross can call himself a champion once again. Part of the 2005 Longhorn BCS Championship team, Ross won a Super Bowl ring as a rookie with the Giants in 2007, too.
With the addition of his new bling, Ross’ trophy shelf could start getting very cramped soon. His track-star wife, Sanya Richards-Ross, an Olympic gold medalist and former Longhorn herself, is again a favorite to bring home hardware for the USA track team at this summer’s London Olympics.
Before the game, Richards-Ross proudly tweeted, “Seeing my husband walk on the field to start in Super Bowl XLVI…..#priceless.”
What’s more priceless than starting in the Super Bowl? Only one thing: winning. Both Rosses know a thing or two about that. Hook ’em!
Sanya Richards-Ross and Aaron Ross show off some of their early-career bling. Photo courtesy UT Athletics.