It was Sunday Night Football, a prime-time game with everyone watching two divisional teams about to battle. The Monsters of the Midway were in prime form to destroy any offense that stepped on the field in 2011. Everyone was getting ready in the locker room, and Anthony Adams was up to his usual locker room shenanigans. We were playing the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. I loved playing against the Lions. Mathew Stafford tended to be careless with the football. On this night, he was extra sloppy with the pigskin.
I was excited because I knew I would have ample opportunities to impact the game. In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined the chance I would get that night. The Lions lined up with a 2 by 2 set, two receivers to the left and two to the right. They ran double slants to my side. Stafford threw the ball to the outside receiver, whom CB #2 was guarding. CB #2 jumped the route, picked the ball off and raced down the sideline. I had the privilege of escorting him toward the end zone. I looked up and saw Mathew Stafford in my headlights.
Most guys would enjoy knocking a quarterback down, but honestly, I had no interest. I reached my arm out to keep him away from CB #2, and then my neck started to turn at an alarming angle. This action by Stafford triggered my defensive reflex. I immediately turned and mowed him down. He seemed surprised; his eyes were big as if a black man walked up behind him at the ATM. He hit the ground with me on top of him. Then, with no warning, I lost control of my body. It seemed as if God himself was moving me. It turned out to be a damn-near 300-pound tight end. He proceeded to slam me on my thinking cap. Then, the Lions’ sideline piled on top of me.
At the bottom of the pile, I laid laughing at what had transpired. The bottom of the pile was much more peaceful than I had imagined. No one was trying to break my fingers or pull at my privates, as past NFL stories had shown. When I finally was helped to my feet, I realized all my teammates had joined in the melee. That action is what made this my favorite play of all time. My teammates rushed onto the opposing team’s sideline to help me.