Now that more than two weeks have passed, I think I’m ready to write about the Super Bowl.
Who won again? Right, the NY Giants, 21-17 over the New England Patriots.
But that isn’t the first thing I think of when I think back to the game. No, when I think back to the game, one play stands out above all others.
Danny Woodhead caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. Holy hell.
A newspaper reporter friend of mine, Frank Graham, interviewed Woodhead for his hometown paper, the North Platte Bulletin. Woodhead told Graham he spent his entire football career having to prove himself at every level, from Pop Warner to high school, to college, to the pros.
Woodhead even got to watch himself get cut from the NY Jets on film in the 2010 version of the HBO series Hard Knocks.
But in the second quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, Danny Woodhead caught a touchdown pass. Eat that Jets coach Rex Ryan.
Just kidding, Rex. Looks like you’ve already eaten too much.
Woodhead has been compared to Notre Dame’s Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger at times by, well, me. A little guy by football standards, Woodhead stands 5-foot-8 and 3/4 of an inch, and I’m really not sure if that’s in bare feet or not. He weighs a muscular 195 pounds.
Ruettiger—who stood 5-foot-6 and weighed 165—was a walk-on at Notre Dame who played on the practice squad. Rudy only played in one college football game his entire career, and it was the last Notre Dame home game of his final season.
He stayed in for two plays, and on the second one sacked Georgia Tech quarterback Rudy Allen.
Ruettiger was one of only two football players in Notre Dame history ever to be carried off the field by his teammates following the game. Later, Hollywood made a movie about him.
Danny Woodhead caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl. Wonder what they’ll make for him?
A statue in North Platte would be nice.
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Rod Babers—ex-NFL football player, lifetime Longhorn, and broadcaster for 1300 The Zone in Austin—got the opportunity to interview NFL Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell recently.
The interview will run sometime next week, but Babers did give up one tidbit yesterday during The Sports Buffet drive-time show.
Campbell, who ran like a bull in the streets of Pamplona, would often run over defenders if it meant more yards gained. But one day he got hit so hard by a defender, it made him reconsider his running style altogether. Perhaps he should run out of bounds more, he thought.
So who was the man who knocked Campbell silly? Another Hall of Famer, the late, great Oakland Raiders’ defensive back Jack Tatum, nicknamed “The Assassin.”
Tatum once hit Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley so hard he was paralyzed from the chest down. And that was in a preseason game in 1978.
Tatum’s one of the reasons the NFL came up with new rules for legal hits. It only took 30 years.
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Yes, I’ll be getting to basketball soon, both college and the NBA. It’s kind of a March thing for me and B-ball’s not my forte, I’ll admit it. Besides, my background as a short wrestler kind of makes me slightly antagonistic toward the sport.
But I will make one comment about the NY Knicks point guard sensation Jeremy Lin.
I think the big deal with Lin is that he came from Harvard, not that he’s an Asian basketball player.
Growing up, I recall many good or great Asian basketball players in junior high and high school. College? Not so much.
Where do these kids go? Do they just quit? Or do the college scouts overlook them?
Could we get the replacement refs back please?
Just kidding. But if you’re a Green Bay Packers fan, I understand why you might be frustrated. Good thing your team won this time. I mean… last time.
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Okay. I finally got to watch the University of Texas Longhorns. Damn. Who knew quarterback David Ash would come along so well? I didn’t. He’s even throwing the long passes down field.
He’s only 19 years old, you know. I was going to give him one more year before I passed judgment, and I might yet. He should be amazing next year, the year the Burnt Orange of Austin, Texas should be ranked in the top three at the 2013 season’s start.
This year? I don’t know. What happened to the defense? More specifically, what happened to tackling?
Today on local radio, Texas head coach Mac Brown said the tentative tackling was due to the new rules tempering head-to-head contact. Okay. But how about hand-to-thigh contact? If you’re going head-to-head on an open field tackle, you’re messing up from the get go.
We’ll see. The defense seemed like the best part of the Longhorns at the start of the season, and in a way it is. But it’s a specific part of the defense—the pass rush of defensive ends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat.
The upcoming game against West Virginia will be very telling. For both teams. Best defense wins.
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I wrote the above after the Longhorns defeated Oklahom State. Here’s what I think after watching the Longhorns lose to West Virginia—I think West Virginia could win it all. Geno Smith is good.
Oddly, I thought the Texas defense did well, even though they gave up 48 points. But they also forced two fumbles, one on the goal line that allowed Jackson Jeffcoat to score a touchdown, and got four sacks.
And David Ash did great again, for the most part.
I know, I know. Next year.
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Hey USGA, do you want to win the Ryder Cup? Here’s an idea. Get Ian Poulter American citizenship. You’ve got about 700 days to get ‘er done. Go for it.
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Isn’t the Ryder Cup great? Golf with real crowd noise. Even cheering. And jeering. Love it.
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I think I figured out the problem with the Dallas Cowboys. It’s the quarterback.
Oh. Right. You read my columns to read stuff you don’t read anywhere else. Sorry. Guess I’m piling on.
• • •
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are the real deal. But I think Cam Newton will be to the Carolina Panthers what Vince Young was to the Tennessee Titans. Too much head hanging there.
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“Team suckage is real. It should be a stat.” Rod Babers, Oct. 9, 2012 on 300 The Zone, Austin, Texas.