Sean Taylor’s iconic hit at 2007 Pro Bowl shows how far game has fallen
By Jerry Trotta
Adjusting to the first Sunday without football in months is never easy. Wait, sorry. There was “football” on television this past Sunday, but we use the term loosely given the lack of competitive spirt that was on display at the Pro Bowl.
Over the years, the NFL’s All-Star Game has been reduced to a glorified exhibition match. This past Sunday, though, it took the form of a two-hand touch scrimmage that oozed ugly quarterback play and bare-minimum effort levels.
As a result, the collective uproar has reached a fever pitch. So much so that fans, and even current and former NFL greats like JJ Watt, Deion Sanders, Chad Johnson and Shannon Sharpe, took to social media to express their disgust.
At this point, the Pro Bowl has lost all of its magic, which is a real shame given how seriously it used to be taken by players.
Look no further than the late, great Sean Taylor. Back in 2007, Washington’s former hard-hitting safety delivered the greatest highlight in the game’s rich history by absolutely flatlining Bills punter Brian Moorman.
Sean Taylor’s memorable hit at the 2007 Pro Bowl shows how far the NFL’s All-Star Game has fallen.
Somehow, it’s still just as violent.
Moorman punted for another seven seasons in the NFL, but he’s probably still recuperating from this mammoth of a hit. We know the Pro Bowl is technically a scrimmage, but the former Bills standout should’ve known better than to run a fake punt with No. 21 lurking at the safety position.
We obviously aren’t implying that the game’s current stars should be flying around the field delivering their best hit stick, but Taylor lowering his shoulder and sending Moorman (and the football) flying just shows how far the game has fallen.
If you can stomach it, take a look at this Alvin Kamara reception. You have Raiders linebacker Denzel Perryman putting his hands up as if to avoid getting flagged after his lame duck attempt to wrap up the Saints running back.
The play was eventually ruled dead after Kamara’s jersey was further grazed by Steelers edge rusher TJ Watt, who was seemingly ready to punch the ball out based on his body language, and Titans safety Kevin Byard.
Seriously? We’ve seen more effort in senior flag football leagues.
How about a sideline shot of Taylor’s hit?
Just the picture-perfect hit. No other way to describe it.
It’s tragic to think that Taylor died nine months after this game. In a career that lasted less than four full NFL seasons, this hit is easily one of the best in a long list of highlights from the former three-time Pro Bowler.
Taylor set the gold standard for the Pro Bowl and the NFL has regrettably failed to maintain it in recent years, to say the least.