Sun Jan 09 09:14pm EST
All around Green Bay, the cheers of joy must have turned into shrieks of terror. Packers cornerback Tramon Williams(notes) had the ball in his hands after a game-clinching interception of Michael Vick(notes) and casually ran out of the end zone, ball dangling at his side while he looked for teammates with which to celebrate. The only problem was, the play wasn't over yet.
Williams wasn't touched down after picking off Vick's last-minute throw, so while everyone in Green Bay was yelling "go down!" he was running toward teammates looking for someone to chest bump. Had he dropped the ball in celebration or had it dislodged while hugging teammates or gotten tackled from behind, the ball could have been recovered by the Eagles, who then would have gotten another chance to score the game-winning touchdown. Luckily for him, Williams' Packers teammates realized his mistake and began frantically motioning for him to fall down the instant he got up in the end zone. Once he finally fell, teammate Charlie Peprah(notes) laid down on him, preventing Williams from getting up and possibly fumbling:
Since Williams held onto the ball, it's a "no harm, no foul" situation. He's the hero, not the goat. But, oh my, can you imagine what would have happened if that ball had somehow come free? It's not like it's a far-fetched notion. A lot of players celebrate a play by quickly dropping the ball on the ground like a hot potato. Had that been Williams' celebration of choice it could have led to another playoff disaster for the Packers in Philadelphia.
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