January 30, 2011
It was like the famous Stanford Band Play, only without the rivalry or the band storming onto the field or the game's result being on the line. And there was more apathy than chaos. But still, this lateral touchdown, a fun play scored by Alex Mack(notes) of the Cleveland Browns, is worth the watch. It also perfectly sums up the NFL Pro Bowl:
Down 20 points with 16 seconds left, the AFC surprised the NFC by running a play that wasn't a kneel down and, thus, would extend an already interminable game even longer. The NFC defense wanted no part of the play, standing up with their hands on their hips and hoping they wouldn't have to exert any effort as the clock ticked down.
But then Matt Cassel(notes) took the snap, threw it to Dwyane Bowe who tossed it back to Montell Owens(notes) who flipped it to Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack while potential NFC tacklers stood around and watched it all go down. Mack eventually scored. If you could have read the minds of the defenders, they would have been something like, "you're not really still trying to score, are you? We were up 42-0 at halftime. Take a knee, bro. My flight back to Houston leaves at 6:40."
The defensive MVP was Darnell Dockett(notes), who three times passed up an opportunity to do something -- anything -- on the play. His NFC teammate, London Fletcher(notes), ran down Mack like it was a regular-season game; however, much like any pursuit by a linebacker in a Redskins game, it was inevitability a failure, as Fletcher couldn't catch him.
Only one good thing came from Sunday's glorified touch football game that masquerades as an All-Star game: The fact that it's over means the Super Bowl is just seven days away.
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