No, Twitter, Jadeveon Clowney’s Tackle Was Not All That Exceptional

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About Liam Day

Liam Day has been a youth worker, teacher, campaign manager, political pundit, communications director, and professional basketball player. His poems have appeared at Slow Trains Apt, and Wilderness House Literary Review. His op-eds and essays have appeared in Annalemma Stymie, the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. He lives in Boston, where he works as a public health professional. He is the Sports Editor at The Good Men Project. You can follow him on Twitter at @LiamDay7.


  1. adolfo soriano says:

    You neglected one key detail: Clowney hit Smith so hard his helmet flew off. That rarely happens on a simple handoff and gives the play even more cache.

  2. It was a pretty wicked hit but truthfully hits like that happen pretty regularly these days (I’m sure a few other guys around the world of college and pro football got busted in similar fashion this weekend). I suppose you can thank Twitter and other social media for the way these otherwise unremarkable hit make the “front page” now.

    Even 15 years ago hits like that didn’t make much of a splash in the sports world unless the hit was a game changing or a game sealing tackle.

    But with as fast and freely as info moves around the net these days we now live in a world where, “THE MOST EPIC HIT OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!WTF!!!!!!?????” happens 2-4 times a week.

  3. Spoken like a true Basketball player. Seriously! This is the kind of hit that football players DREAM about. Make that more like a wet dream! Yeah, football is the ultimate team game and somebody on the offensive line ‘blew’ the blocking assignment. That being said , on the play after his team was ‘screwed’ on a first down spot, to come in and make that hit, knock the helmet and the ball lose, and then scoop it up! Then on the next play, his team scored a touchdown! Come’on, that was the PLAY OF THE GAME! It turned the momentum and made the difference to South Carolinas win!

    • Bobbt, I had to smile at “Spoken like a true basketball player.” I roomed with four football players in college. That’s precisely what they would have said.

  4. You know’ forget twitter and whatever cyber-garbage is out there. Just sit down, look at the game film starting with the play before and finishing with the play after and you’ll see what I mean!

  5. I agree with your article fully and believe that we, as a society, are way to easily amused. I also believe that we are so quick to reward athletes/artists/others for one Hit/Song/Speech, hell sometimes even one note, rather than judge a full body of work. However, Jadeveon Clowney has been making plays like this since his freshman year and will start off his Junior season next year as a Heisman favorite.

  6. As a Clemson fan, I am loath to give credit to any South Carolina fan but that was a great play. While the lineman whiffed on this assignment, Clowney is fast and quick enough that any mistake by the tackle can result in him getting through. The tackle itself, as you mentioned, was textbook: facemask to the chest, wrap up, drived to the ground. As someone else mentioned above, he also knocked the tailback’s hat off. Finally, he had the presence of mind to lean over and scoop up the ball with one hand. They went on to score a touchdown after the turnover in a game they won by 5. Big hit, bigger play.
    Regarding being the first pick, he’s been getting after quarterbacks all year (ask Tahj Boyd), if he learns to not always pin his ears back, he could go down as one of the greats at his position. I wish he wore orange on Saturdays but I appreciate what a talent he is.
    I agree with your larger point over football and sports hyperbole. We love superlatives. Ours is a language of exaggeration and allusion. Twitter is a superb medium for that figurative language. When Blake Griffin tomahawks on someone, we’re all stuck wondering, “Jeez, now I wonder how his dick tastes.”

  7. wellokaythen says:

    Beautiful tackle. Now, get off the field so your celebration doesn’t cost your team a delay of game penalty or force you to lose a valuable time out. You still gotta have your head in the game.

  8. That’s the kind of play/scene you’d see in a football good-feel movie – and that’s what makes it unique and that’s what drew the locust from twitter. Anyone who plays any form of sport dreams about the play where skill/luck/heart and God herself put one together.

    You seem to be criticizing something else…

  9. kapooooooow!
    i almost expected that 1950s batman graphic to appear, when the opponent’s helmet flew clear off like it had a moonrocket powering it. very cinematic, almost cartoonish

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