When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Isaiah Stanback out of Washington in 2007, they soon converted him from quarterback to wide receiver. Since then, he's been with several NFL teams, gotten married to his college sweetheart, started a business and is about to have twins.
In talking with Isaiah, I wanted to know more about his experience in playing with the New York Giants team that won the 2012 Super Bowl. For this story, we go back to November 29, 2011, in a Dallas-area grocery store.
"I was doing some shopping with my wife and getting ready for Christmas," Stanback said. "We had just gotten our Christmas tree. We were in the grocery store grabbing some items and I got a call from my agent. He was like, `Hey, the Giants want you. You have to get on a plane this evening.' I looked over at my wife and mouthed the words that I'VE GOT TO GO. Her whole face was turning. Being that she was about six months pregnant at the time, that wasn't a thing that she wanted to hear, that her man had to leave immediately."
Stanback boarded a plane that night bound for the Big Apple. What took place over the next few weeks as one of the highlights of his life.
"It was a great experience to be there with that team," he said. "It was great organization, well-run from the top down. Everyone is respectful. At the time I got there the team wasn't doing well. They had a nice little losing streak going on, and they were trying to get the energy back in the building. It seems it was about one week after I got there that we started winning again. We went on that last little run and beat the Cowboys and went onto the playoffs. And the Giants in the playoffs are a pretty dangerous organization. We went all the way to the Super Bowl.
"We were facing the Patriots. I had played with them recently. I had spent time in New England as a quarterback and a receiver. I was playing two positions out there. I still remembered a good amount of their stuff. So it was helpful when it came to leading up to the Super Bowl, and I tried to help out as much as I could from that aspect. And we won the Super Bowl. It was great."
New York's 21-17 win over New England set into motion some post -game jubilation.
"Being on the field with my wife, she was pregnant with our daughter, that was great," he said. "Confetti is falling, people are running all around. It's crazy. Beating your old team made it more cool. It was just the realization of what it meant. You've got to work your butt off just to get to the league. And of that small percentage of guys that make it to the NFL, most never get the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl or win it. So realizing that in that moment and how special that opportunity was, that was just really cool to soak that up and enjoy it with my wife."
These days, Stanback is living in Dallas with his wife Nathalie, their 19-month old daughter, and with twins on the way. He's also co-owner of Steadfast Fitness and Performance.
"Myself and friend and business partner, Jerad Harrison, we started a business," he said. "Jared's a local guy down here in Dallas. He played football at North Texas and got his degree. His whole life has been training, but he's a smaller guy so he missed opportunities to go to the league. He has played a mass amount of sports, and I have always been in sports of course, as everyone knows. I like to help people. I like to see people smile, I like to see progress. I like to see people overcome hurdles that they have in their lives. Even when I'm in the gym I'm always trying to help people out, trying to give them tips on proper form.
"I've bounced around the league a bit," he said. "But from bouncing around the league I've been blessed to play for some great organizations. And with great organizations come great strength coaches. I've always been the type of person to soak up as much information as possible. And while at the time it might be annoying to those coaches, with me asking all those questions, for me it was informative.
"So with me and Jared, we put our heads together to figure out how can we not only do something we love to do but be a part of the community and give something back. We just decided to create a personal training facility based on both of us being Christians and based on being steadfast.
"We opened our first location about seven months ago," he said. "Things have been great. We're getting a wide range of demographics and it's been really good. Getting a chance to work with and mentor high school and college athletes. I'm not on a NFL roster obviously right now, so my full attention has been on the business. And it's been a real blessing."