Monday, September 22, 2008

Charlie Hustle

Tony Romo dropped back to pass. A long one to the End Zone. Two Cowboys converged near the Goalpost, Nos. 81 and 82. But coming between them, a Green Bay Packer caught the ball and started back up the field. No. 81 tried to reverse his momentum but was knocked to the ground.

The TV camera followed the Packer interceptor on his long run, slipping and shedding would-be Cowboy tacklers with impunity as he reached mid-field. The Cowboy offensive platoon seemed helpless against this brilliant runback. But a white Cowboy jersey flashed into the picture and No 81 wrapped his arms around the ball carrier and dragged him to the ground.

The TV cameras and announcers replayed the great interception and runback several times. It made all the weekend highlight reels. But no camera caught the best part of the play in my mind's eye. No camera caught Terrell Owens jump up from the end zone turf, turn and take an angle across the field and run about 80 yards to catch up with the ball carrier and bring him down.

Most athletes accept it when they've been knocked out of the play. Then it's the other guys' job. Terrell Owens brings a lot of baggage with him to the football field, including a committment to the team and a lot of speed, desire and that quality so much identified with Pete Rose, hustle.


At September 23, 2008 7:12 AM, Anonymous Peter Merholz said...

Terrell Owens is my favorite physical specimen in pro football. His combination of speed, agility, strength, and length is amazing.

Something else I noticed in that game, on a touchdown run by one of the Cowboys, was that T.O. delivered the clinching block that ensured the score.

Yes, he's a prima donna with a big mouth. But he's also a fantastic player.

At September 23, 2008 8:08 AM, Blogger BJMe said...

You got that right. BTW, did you hear who Phil Jackson said was the greatest athlete he ever coached?


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