This, friends, is why football players have long-term brain injuries. Texas A&M running back Ben Malena ran the ball up the middle in the Florida red zone, only to be confronted by Gators’ safety Josh Evans at the second level. Except Malena wasn’t willing to go around, so he ran over Evans instead. And when we say ran over, we mean steamroll. And when we say steamroll, we mean pancake. Or whatever. It was vicious.
This is really why football is awesome and sad. There’s something viscerally repulsive and attractive about a play like this. Just listen to that pop. There’s no doubt it would make ESPN’s former big hits cauldron “Jacked Up!”, because at its core it represents football’s heart and soul – one man physically overpowering another in spectacular fashion. Evans, for his part, embraced the collision, because that’s what’s expected in football. Cry all you want about head injury prevention after the game, but what happens to his reputation if he steps out of the way? So he paid the price and was down on the play, understandably, and the game moved on with little commentary from Brent Musburger or Kirk Herbstreit. Because really, that’s what we do: show concern for football head injuries, but quietly celebrate and forget it all within a few seconds. And then, of course, spend endless hours discussing the hypocrisy of it all.
Earlier today, as you might’ve seen, Tulane’s Devon Walker nearly died on the field due to a head-on collision. Now, we’re not in the business of moral grandstanding, but it’s plays like that that actually make you stop and think. There’s a limit to how much of stories of repeated, albeit unspectacular, head injuries can truly impact you.
Texas A&M currently leads Florida 17-10.
Video via CJ Fogler