INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 31: Osi Umenyiora #72 of the New York Giants answers question from the media during Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 31, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
The 2011-2012 NFL season has not been an easy one for Osi Umenyiora. The New York Giants defensive end has a contract dispute in training camp and demanded to be traded, which did not happen. Then he missed seven games during the regular season due to knee and ankle injuries. Still, Umenyiora has produced when he has played nine regular-season sacks in nine games, 3.5 playoff sacks in three games) and the Giants have reached the 2012 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.
"I had to swallow my pride. I had to do a bunch of different things. You have to sacrifice for the team. That's just what I've been able to do this year, and we've been successful," Umenyiora said Tuesday during Super Bowl Media Day. "Would I have dreamed it? No. Things happen like that sometimes. I think everything that went on, it was rough. But at the end of the day, we pulled through and I pulled through and we're here."
Umenyiora's future with the Giants beyond Sunday is unclear. What is clear is that the eight-year veteran is committed to helping his team in whatever way possible as it tries for another Super Bowl title.
"I'm just enjoying this run. I‘m enjoying my teammates. I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to be playing football. That's just the end of it. I'm not really thinking of that contract stuff or anything," Umenyiora said.
Umenyiora and New England left tackle Matt Light have a bit of a history, as the pair have twice engaged in on-field fghts. Light missed the Media Day madness due to illness.
" ‘Matt Light, please get well soon. I hope to see you on Sunday. You are one of my greatest friends,' " Umenyiora joked.
Asked what bothers him about Light, Umenyiora said "He just does all that extra pushing and tries to hit you over the pile and stuff like that. At the end of the day, I'm not paying any attention to that anymore. We're just going to go out and play and that's just going to be the end of it."