Shutdown Corner - NFL

Offensive lineman are usually programmed to save one person and one person only: their quarterback. That can't be said for Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie Ted Larsen(notes), who is being called a hero after answering a distress call as he and his girlfriend were fishing off Honeymoon Island on the West Coast of Florida on Wednesday.

Larsen, a rookie out of North Carolina State, said he heard the distress call from the Coast Guard around 3 p.m. and when he checked the coordinates, headed over to find two kayakers overturned, holding onto their vessels for dear life. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Larsen pulled up the teens and their kayaks and shuttled them to safety. We've heard the story of Tony Romo(notes) changing tires after a late football game for an old couple and taking a homeless guy to the movies, but this was people in serious trouble being found and saved by a professional football player.

"It could have been a big deal. You always read about overturned kayaks," Larsen said. "It was good to help them. It just felt it was a good thing to do. [...] 

"That's an important lesson they learned," he said. "You've got be aware of the weather. The ocean can turn on you."

Is this the first instance where we can all be happy that there is a lockout going on? Without it, maybe Larsen isn't in the water at this time, and the kayakers might not have had a fishing boat so close. Larsen, however, said he doesn't consider himself a hero.

So, for NFL fans: Times you can be mad about the lockout -- 43,992; times you can be happy about the lockout -- 1. Thanks, Ted Larsen, for continuing to do your job; being at the right place at the right time and keeping people upright.

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