Sports Illustrated - On Saturday evening in Pasadena, Deion Sanders and his roster built almost exclusively by the transfer portal looked to pull off an upset against No. 23 UCLA.
While they were able to build an early lead and force the Bruins to turn the ball over on four occasions, Colorado's offensive line gave up seven sacks and prevented the offense from really getting anything going. One of the times they failed to capitalize was off of a huge hit by Shilo Sanders, who leveled running back Carson Steele, forcing him to fumble.
The older of the two Sanders sons on the team, Shilo dons No. 21 like his father and also plays in the secondary as well. He has emerged as one of the bright spots of this Colorado team, but on Saturday his game was cut short due to a targeting call.
On a possession later in the first half, Sanders appeared to light up a UCLA player for a big stop, only he was flagged immediately after.
While he initially hit the UCLA ball carrier with his shoulder, he did make contact with the crown of his helmet. A hit that Deion Sanders called horrendous during his halftime interview.
"I can't wait for the officials to review that targeting call because I think it was horrendous," said Sanders.
He wasn't the only person who felt that way either, as former Stanford and NFL star Richard Sherman weighed in on the hit on the app formerly known as Twitter.
"They have officially taken it too far! Ruining the game," exclaimed Sherman in one post.
(Live look at Richard Sherman watching that Shadeur Sanders hit followed by him being ejected for targeting)
Sorry, but I can't get enough of that gif.
I think everybody has had enough of the Deion hysteria around here, which is why I left all mention of him and his seed out of this blog title. I don't want people's opinions of them to take away from the main point of this blog, and that is that the sport of football is in a seriously tough position.
On the one hand, the sport is being played by bigger, stronger, and faster men than was ever imaginable.
These guys are basically human torpedos running around out there. There is no padding or air-soft shock-absorbing fiberglass and rubber you can design that is going to compensate for the incline in sheer athleticism we're seeing in the game today.
And it's at all levels.
There are high school kids who are fucking specimens nowadays thanks to Monsanto coating everything we put in our bodies with fertilizers, pumping our foods full of steroids, protein being readily available, and high school gyms resembling Muscle Beach.
Exhibit A, this fucking kid - who is 14 years old, 6 foot 7 and 290 lbs.
The leagues can try to police headhunting and "targeting" as much as they want, but they're never going to be able to completely prevent hits like this because football is a sport of bang-bang plays, and last I checked, is still a contact sport.
Sherman elaborated and made some great points.
"He could have went low and likely ended this kids season or career," said Sanders. "That’s what these calls will lead defensive players to do. To aim for the knee or lower body Smh. I can guarantee you every offensive player would prefer this hit over a destructive hit to their lower body."
He's exactly right.
What are you supposed to do in that position?
Gronk in his quote tweet, reiterated what Sherman said. And Gronk's opinion, as an offensive player, carries a ton of weight. Especially as a guy who was taken out low on a consistent basis by undersized DBs (resulting in career-threatening knee injuries), and up high by monsters like Earl Thomas who almost collapsed his lungs.
I think when Gronk says he'd rather guys hit right in the chest, straight up, (like Sanders did), vs. down low, we should take his word for it.
Almost right on cue, there were even more ticky-tack flags thrown the very next day (yesterday) in the pro league.
Again, not sure what these guys are supposed to do.
Andy Reid is one of the only voices of reason speaking up warning us of the slippery slope that we're on here. He spoke out this past offseason against the new (wicked lame) kickoff rules.
Flag football, indeed, Andrew.
Don't think it's any coincidence that the NFL lobbied its way into the Olympics with flag football, and immediately started pumping out these commercials and marketing campaign this past weekend…
I did a blog a few weeks ago after the great Dick Butkus passed away.
When "researching" for that blog, I went back and watched a bunch of NFL Films on youtube from back then.
The size of the guys was surprisingly not that different from now vs. then. Granted, guys today are way more shredded and ripped now compared to back then, mainly because guys back then didn't lift weights.
Butkus was famous for making fun of guys in the league at the time who did lift weights, pointing to his own workout "regimen" of listing refrigerators on his back, and pianos up and down flights of stairs in his college days as a professional mover.
I remember not too long ago when ESPN used to run a feature on Sunday Nights before the prime time game called "Jacked Up!" where Boomer and that loser who had a vendetta against the Patriots (Tom Jackson) used to freak out over that weeks biggest hits.
Almost all of which would probably result in suspensions and fines today.
Really sucks to think the sport we've all grown up loving over the years could be no more very soon if things continue the way they are. And that's just with the game being the game, and how it's actually played. Don't even get me started on the officiating!