Spencer Hall tries to explicate Jadeveon Clowney’s memorable tackle/forced fumble/recovery on Michigan’s Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl in many ways, but remains flabbergasted all the more:
The part I still can’t wrap my brain around: Clowney did that with about eight yards of running room. In the span of 24 feet, he gained enough momentum to do that to Vincent Smith. The equation is F=MA, and the numbers work out, I’m sure, but the brain can only do so much. It’s a day later and my eyes still can’t believe the spectacle and brutality of applied physics in football pads. When you have a variable like Jadeveon Clowney, though, sense is never, ever part of the equation.
Dave Kindred gives Hall’s take plenty of props, and adds this:
I have no use for football’s jack-‘em-up fetish. I loathe the mentality that cheers a blindside block on a helpless defender whose eyes are locked on a kick returner. I have seen cheap shots and I have seen Darryl Stingley in a wheelchair. But what Jadeveon Clowney did to Vincent Smith was none of that. The old Michigan State coach, Duffy Daugherty, once said, “Football’s not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport.” By that definition, Clowney’s tackle was as pure a demonstration of the game’s truest nature as we’re likely to see.