Playing professional football in the Big Apple,
But having spent the past few days in the eye of the international media storm that is
"I can't imagine another event that would bring this kind of energy and excitement to Indy," said Barden, a 2004 Flintridge Prep graduate and now a third-year wide receiver for the
Barden said the festive atmosphere of the weeklong NFL showcase, culminating in the biggest American sporting event of the year, is impressive, but ultimately doesn't distract the players from the task at hand.
"It's business as usual for us," Barden said. "At home, we have about nine- to 10-hour days depending on what kind of actual time guys are putting in, but this week isn't much different. We've had a little bit more of a media responsibility, but we still have meetings and we still have practice. We're definitely not out here for the party and the NFL experience. We're here to win a game."
As focused as Barden may be, it's doubtful he will get to have any direct bearing on the outcome. He's been inactive for the team's last four games, including three playoff wins over the
"As of this point, I don't foresee any changes from the previous weeks," Barden said.
After missing the first eight weeks of the season while on the physically unable to perform list rehabbing an ankle injury suffered the previous season, Barden made his season debut with two catches for 24 yards Nov. 6 in a 24-20 win over the Patriots. He was active for the next seven games, totaling a career-best nine catches for 94 yards. His best effort was a three-catch, 38-yard showing against the
"You find other ways to get excited," Barden said of his mindset during the current lack of playing time. "I'm still proud of my team, I'm still proud of the effort put forth. This has been a long season and guys have stuck together, we essentially become a family in a lot of ways and you get excited to see your teammates succeed. You kind of put away your personal issues and what your goals are."
Barden was drafted 85th overall by New York Giants in the 2009
Barden said he is thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Super Bowl just three years into his career.