In an effort to promote the unconferenced 2014 NFL Pro Bowl, the NFL has released an online ballot for fans to vote on the best moment in Pro Bowl history.
As of Monday afternoon, the late Sean Taylor was leading the poll, garnering 33 percent of the votes for laying out Buffalo punter Brian Moorman on a fake punt in 2007.
I encourage you to vote for Taylor here.
To his credit, Moorman accepted his comeuppance at the time, popping up after the hit and congratulating Taylor.
Moorman was a champ throughout the whole episode, maintaining a sense of humor and accepting culpability for attempting the fake in the first place.
“You know, a lot of people ask about that, but it was a clean football play and I have a lot of respect for him,” Moorman told the Washington Post Sports Bog. “Any time a punter or kicker gets hit like that, it’s kind of a topic of conversation. It’s fun to rib me, it’s fun for me to take it. It was always a light-hearted thing. I never had any hard feelings. At the end of the day somebody’s got to make a tackle. It was my fault for running straight up.”
The punter also discussed the play on Pro Football Talk’s PFT Live podcast while raising money for tornado relief efforts in Joplin, Mo., in 2011. Moorman told Mike Florio receiving the hit “was a good experience.”
“That definitely has given me an extended fifteen seconds of fame, because I think that every year a rookie comes in and says, ‘Hey, you’re The Guy!’ It’s kind of a funny thing for me, and obviously you can still find it on YouTube, so people still see it. I get somebody, probably five or ten people a year that say something to me out in public or whatever. So I think that’s gonna stick with me a while.”
That is what it is. It was a good experience and I’m just glad I got up ’cause it was the biggest shot I ever took in my football career.
This is also a timely remembrance considering 2013 was a historic year to debate punters as fair recipients (and purveyors) of football violence.
After Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber was upended on a return in Pittsburgh, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Steelers linebacker Terence Garvin should have been penalized for striking a “defenseless” player.
The “defenseless” designation caused some punters to bristle.
Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan told Sports Illustrated he was unaware of the rule and thought punters were “fair game”
Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee told Dan Patrick, “It kind of sets us back in the position.”
“There’s this perception that punters and kickers aren’t athletes. … There’s a few of us trying to debunk that.”
McAfee made a strong case with this spectacular Vine and this hit on Trindon Holliday.
Aussie football veteran and Redskins punter Sav Rocca proved punters can be tough against the Cowboys in 2012.
Tags: Brian Moorman, Jon Ryan, Kevin Huber, Pat McAfee, Pro Bowl, Sean Taylor
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »