The NFL’s Pro Bowl is known for many things, but defense certainly isn’t one of them.
The much maligned exhibition game the NFL puts on every year is often criticized for being a watered-down version of professional football where none of the players try hard.
In fairness to the players, it’s hard to blame them.
Football can be a dangerous sport, and there’s literally no reason for a player to risk their livelihood over a meaningless game.
That being said, the 2006 NFL Pro Bowl proved that while you can take the competition out of the game, you can’t always take the competitor out of the game.
In the third quarter of the 2006 Pro Bowl, the AFC squad elected to run a fake punt that saw Buffalo punter Brian Moorman try to scramble for a first down.
Moorman, who was actually fairly athletic and agile for a punter, had his blocks set up for a successful trick play.
Problem is, there was one player who wasn’t properly blocked, and it’s the last player you would ever want unaccounted for.
The great Sean Taylor, whose life was tragically cut short at 24, was one of the fiercest hitting safeties in recent memory.
Moorman found this out in the most painful of manners.
— Shaun Salehi (@DoubleS30) November 27, 2017
A different angle offers a more intimate view of the carnage.
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) January 28, 2018
It was a massive hit that Moorman hasn’t forgotten.
When Redskins.com did a retrospective on Taylor’s tragically short career, Moorman had no ill will about about the hit.
“I tell people that was my 15 seconds of fame,” Moorman said. “Every year I still get text messages or emails or calls or somebody tweets at me or whatever it might be. At the end of my career, I’m sitting having lunch in the cafeteria, a couple of rookies sitting there with myself and Kyle Williams, still in Buffalo, and they’re talking about it. Kyle looks at them and goes, ‘You realize that was him, right?’ They were like, ‘No way.’ Taking a shot from Sean like that is once in a lifetime.”
It’s also a memory of Moorman’s that he is proud to remember on a daily basis.
Moorman has all of his jerseys framed on the wall of his house. They all show the backs of his jerseys emblazoned with his last name on them. The only jersey that shows the front is his 2006 Pro Bowl jersey, and for a very commemorative reason.
Moorman’s 2006 Pro Bowl jersey still has specks of yellow paint from Taylor’s helmet embedded on it.
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