Saturday, January 5, 2013

NFL Playoffs: Memorable Playoff Moments These Players Would Like To Forget

                                                                                 By Matt Kryger, The Indianapolis Star
                                   Mike Vanderjagt throws down his helmet after missing Field Goal in a 2006 NFL Playoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers that would have tied the game

     The NFL Playoffs are a time where players can become saviors and be remembered for their heroic actions. Unfortunately for some, they are remembered for all the wrong reasons. On top of that, it may end up being the most defining moment of their careers. Lets take a look at some moments that certain players wish they could have back and get another chance for their blunders.

       Matt Hasselback "We want the ball, and we're going to score"

     There is nothing worse than making a fool out of yourself. For Matt Hasselback, he did it in front of thousands of people and millions around the country watching. Hasselback and the Seattle Seahawks were facing the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2003-04 Playoffs in a game that would go to overtime. After winning the coin toss Hasselback had said a bold and daring statement "We want the ball, and we're going to score" After initial three and outs by both teams, Seattle would get the ball back. After driving down to their own 45, Seattle was facing a 3rd & 10. Hasselback would throw a pass intended for his receiver that would ultimately get picked off by Packers defensive back Al Harris who would return the interception for a touchdown, giving the
Packers the win and move on to the next round. As for Hasselback, not only would he like to have that pass back, but surely he would like to take his words back as well.

         Insanity in Indy: Mike Vanderjagt Misses Kick at End of Regulation In Wild Finish

     This could have been remembered for a different reason had the Indianapolis Colts been able to return a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers Jerome Bettis, (first he had all season) and score a touchdown. After the Colts had turned the ball over on downs on their own 2 yard line, the Steelers had a chance to ice the game. As Bettis was heading toward the goal line, Colts linebacker Gary Brackett popped the ball loose and Colts Nick Harper would scoop up the ball on his way to what seemed like a sure game winning touchdown. But thanks in large part to Ben Roethlisberger's game saving tackle, the Colts would ultimately have to settle for sending the game into overtime for the time being. Colts called on their ever reliable kicker Mike Vanderjagt to tie the game up. Unfortunately, Vanderjagt missed the 46 yd. field goal, immediately ending any hope the Colts had had. The Steelers would go on to win the game and the Super Bowl along the way. As for Vanderjagt, things were never the same again. The Colts would let him go following the conclusion of the season. He would then be picked up by the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason before leaving the NFL for good.

       Norwood is No Good

     Fans sometimes may not realize that just because placekickers do not see much contact, more often than not they are put in a vulnerable position that can make or break themselves along with their team. Buffalo Bills Scott Norwood had the chance to be the hero in all of Buffalo, as they were set up to kick the game winning field goal at the end of regulation in Superbowl XXV against the New York Giants. Norwood would indeed go on to be remembered. Unfortunately for him it would be at his own expense as he missed the 47yd. kick to the right. This would be the first of a string of four consecutive Super Bowls the Bills would lose. For Norwood, he would be replaced by Steve Christie and would quit football and stay hidden from the public eye for a period of time. If it is any consultation, Norwood would go on to become the inspiration for the character "Ray Finkle" in "Ace Ventura Pet Detective"

     So many memorable moments have occurred over the years in the NFL playoffs that have come at a cost for a number of players. So what do you think of this list? Would you agree, disagree? What are some moments that you think a player would like to have back and one more shot at? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know!

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