Tuesday, August 21, 2012

the last book I ever read (Instant Replay, excerpt eight)

from Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer by Jerry Kramer and Dick Schaap:

I honestly think their safety, Larry Wilson, is the finest football player in the NFL, and he fired up their whole team. He blitzed. He shot. He red-dogged. He hurled himself through the air to make tackles. His enthusiasm was infectious.

When the Cardinals went ahead 23-17 in the last quarter, I felt we were in real danger. But then they kicked off, and Travis Williams, playing on the kickoff return team for the first time because Adderley had bruised his hand, took the ball and headed straight up the middle. I was on the front line, nearest the Cardinals. I hit one guy with a forearm and knocked him backwards, then took about four more steps toward another guy. Suddenly, I felt Travis breeze by me, zip, zip, zip, zip, like I was standing still. He went all the way for a touchdown, 93 yards, and we were back in the lead.

Even after we opened the gap to eight points, 31-23, with only a few seconds to play, Larry Wilson wouldn't quit. We were just running out the clock, and Larry, instead of staying back at his safety position, moved up like a linebacker and began leaping over people, throwing himself at the ballcarrier, trying to steal the ball. Two, three, maybe four times in a row, as the game came to its end, Larry made tackles at the line of scrimmage. It was a bewildering feeling, seeing a safety practically toe-to-toe with a defensive tackle. We don't have any blocking plan to cover a suicide situation like that. Wilson's all football player; I'm kind of glad that he's from Idaho.

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