FanDuel - WFBC

December 20, 2010

Patriots Offensive Lineman Returns Kick 71 Yards: In the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history, New England Patriots offensive guard Dan Connolly ran one back 71 yards against the Green Back Packers Sunday night (video).

posted by rcade to football at 01:20 PM - 16 comments

I loved the development of that play.

Looking at it from Connolly's perspective: "Two hands on the ball . . . protect . . . protect . . . green space in front . . . what the hell? . . . free up one arm . . . running, running . . . stiff arm . . . cut back . . . damn, so close . . . did I just do that?"

Tom Brady (coming onto the field): "Did he just do that?"

posted by holden at 02:02 PM on December 20

RUN, FAT BOY, RUN!

posted by TheQatarian at 02:05 PM on December 20

An amazing day for kickoff and punt returns all around.

posted by graymatters at 02:45 PM on December 20

The run accounts for 22,223 pound-yards of movement (313 pounds of Dan Connolly X 71 yards). This exceeds by 23 pound-yards the effort of a 200 pound returner starting from the extreme back of the end zone and bringing it back for 110 yards. Based strictly on the pound-yard measurement, this is a record that will stand for a long time.

The preceding has been brought to you by a retired engineer with way too little to do.

posted by Howard_T at 03:06 PM on December 20

I watched this over and over for about five minutes last night, and it made an old lineman's heart glad.

I suddenly went from being a relatively quick and smallish linebacker and lineman to being an extremely slow two-way lineman right around eighth grade. I played organized ball for 13 years and never once scored a point.

I did, however, manage to return a pair of kickoffs more than 60 yards each in the same game. I also managed to get knocked out at the two-yard-line.

Twice.

By the same guy.

So while Dan didn't make it to the end zone, I can almost guarantee there were a thousand other guys like me out there when Connolly broke to daylight -- a thousand fat, slow high-school linemen jumping up and down and screaming at the TV, "Tuck the points in, damn it, points IN!"

God bless ya, Danny.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:36 PM on December 20

I was in a pub watching the game with a surprising number of Packer fans. I was a little surprised then when the entire place started cheering for Connolly. I guess an amazing, improbable play transcends team loyalty if even for a moment.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:55 PM on December 20

Everybody likes to see the big guy break loose, clones. In the words of Madden, "I love to see a fat guy score."

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:45 PM on December 20

Speaking of Madden, I'll bet Connolly's speed rating in next year's edition of the Madden game went up a few ticks after that.

posted by TheQatarian at 05:54 PM on December 20

In the words of Madden, "I love to see a fat guy score."

Because first you get the fat guy spike and then you get the fat guy dance.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:09 PM on December 20

They only showed flashed of this when they broadcast the game, but the smile on Connolly's face when the play was over was one of the happiest things I've seen all season. Yeah, money, yeah, winning, but that's the sort of moment we watch sports to see. Some guy doing something completely improbable. Sometimes, its the amazing pass, or remarkable dive. Sometimes, its just a big, kind of goofy guy running as fast as he can when you know that's not really what he's trained for at all.

tl;dr - loved that moment.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:33 AM on December 21

Let it henceforth be known:

If you're on special teams and you serve Chef Hoodie a pork chop to start the game, in due course you'll be getting a full side of beef delivered right to your doorstep.

posted by beaverboard at 09:26 AM on December 21

An off-season hurricane hammering the Eastern Seaboard? Nope, just a 300-lb. lineman trying to catch his breath.

posted by NerfballPro at 11:19 AM on December 21

As a Packers fan I was too busy cursing the tacklers to enjoy this, but the replay was nice -- loved seeing all the Pats players excited for the guy. Sort of reminds me a bit of one of Prince Fielder's inside-the-park home runs where he is chugging around those bases for all it's worth.

posted by evixir at 01:03 PM on December 21

but the replay was nice -- loved seeing all the Pats players excited for the guy.

This.

I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some Packers linemen who were covering their smiles on the sidelines.

posted by grum@work at 04:30 PM on December 21

I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some Packers linemen who were covering their smiles on the sidelines.

Be even funnier if, at their next practice, they all go running out in front of the special teams guys screaming, "You can't catch meeeee! You can't catch meeeee!"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:24 PM on December 21

Packers had been kicking short all game long in an effort to keep the ball away from Brandon Tate, who had returned 2 for TDs so far this season. It tells me that they had been having problems with their kick coverage, and didn't want the long return to hurt them. I would guess their special teams coach said something to the effect of, "Wow! Didn't see that coming."

posted by Howard_T at 07:57 PM on December 21

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