A pick 6 of football flippin', floppin', flyin'


A pick 6 of football flippin', floppin', flyin'

There's been a whole lot of flipping, flopping and flying in football recently, from the Carolinas to the frozen tundra and, appropriately, just off Broadway.

Receivers, runners, quarterbacks and big ol' linemen have been pulling off some dazzling feats - a few without a hitch, others with funny flaws, and one almost too astonishing to believe.

So let's return to Sunday's NFL games for a Pick 6 of scoring celebrations - well a Pick 5 really, with a surprise addition to round out the package.

David Wilson, RB, New York Giants

Not once, not twice, but three times the rookie produced near-perfect backflips after scoring touchdowns in a 52-27 win over the Saints. Turns out, the 5-foot-9 Wilson has been practicing since he was 4, and there's even a YouTube video of him performing 21 consecutive backflips during his college days at Virginia Tech.

``Now that it's on tape, we're going to expect that from him every game,'' defensive end Justin Tuck kidded after Wilson set a club record with 327 all-purpose yards, including a 97-yard kickoff return for a score followed by the first of his impressive end zone backflips.

Backflip celebrations are not new for Wilson, it just took him awhile to get his game going with the Giants. An early season fumble put him on the bench, and he's just made his way back into the lineup.

Some teammates call him the best athlete on the team. Salsa-dancing Victor Cruz is among them.

``If you blink once or twice, you might miss him,'' Cruz said, presumably referring to his speed, not his backflips.

Lee Smith, TE, Buffalo

The 6-6, 266-pound second-year player was coaxed by a teammate into his poorly-executed flop into the stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium after his first TD at home. After the catch, Scott Chandler convinced Smith to follow in his and Stevie Johnson's jumping shoes and celebrate with the fans.

He obliged, but when he leaped up the barrier, back first, he slid off the ledge and into the stands. He later said he was wedged between the barrier and metal bleacher where fans sit. He was drenched in beer and ketchup before untangling himself from the mess.

``I'm definitely not the most experienced guy about jumping into the stands, so I might have gone in a little too hard on those fans,'' Smith said. ``I might have scared them a little bit, but either way, it's a fun time.''

The Bills ended up losing to the Rams 15-12 to fall to 5-8.

``It's not fun losing football games, and if that's the one thing that everybody can kind of sit in their meetings and smile about and think about, and if this is the one thing from the game that makes everybody laugh, then it was worth it for me,'' he added.

Worth it for us, too.

Mike Daniels, DE, Green Bay

The Lambeau Leap never looked so ... silly? After the 6-0, 294-pound rookie scooped up a fumble and rumbled 43 yards for a TD that helped the Packers beat the Lions, he went for a flying leap into the stands. He managed to get only halfway up the wall, hung there for a few seconds, and dropped down to earth.

``I was too tired,'' Daniels said.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina

The Panthers second-year quarterback had his best game of the season, but the highlight occurred as he was crossing the goal line to complete a 72-yard scoring run. He somersaulted into the end zone, and as his legs were in the air, he was nudged slightly by a Falcons defensive back. However, Newton rolled with the flow, landed smoothly on his back, and sprung to his feet. Of course, his ``Superman'' pose followed, and the Panther went on to upset the Falcons.

Newton thought he had clear sailing for a perfect somersault, but said he saw defenders closing in on him quickly as he approached the end zone and had to improvise.

Carolina Panthers

Even before the start of the Falcons-Panthers game in Charlotte, N.C., players and fans were flipping out after Carolina won its first coin flip of the season. Coming in, the Panthers were 0 for 13 on flips, including one in overtime.

Team captain Jordan Gross exalted at midfield, thrusting both arms into the air, at the result.

``I've never seen people cheering so loud for a coin toss,'' Gross said, laughing.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, striker, Sweden

One of the great football scores in history. OK. So it was the other football (soccer), and it took place in Sweden about a month ago. Trust us.

In the first match at the country's new national stadium in Stockholm, Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced a spectacular 30-yard overhead kick for a goal in an exhibition against England. YouTube replays were everywhere, showing the goal, followed by the 6-5, pony-tailed striker whipping off his shirt, thrusting a fist in the air, and running around the pitch as coaches, players and fans looked on dumbfounded.

The shot was remarkable: The English goalie moved out of the penalty area and headed the ball into the air. But as the ball was coming down, Ibrahimovic turned his back on the goalie, went airborne, and with his right foot slammed a shot that landed inside the near post. Gooooooal!

Pretty good kicker, eh?


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Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Asante Samuel got hit Fourth of July fireworks started early Saturday morning with a negative tweet about NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green.

The former Pro Bowler with the Patriots and the Eagles had a fine 11-year NFL career. He is a Super Bowl champion himself. But his out-of-nowhere tweets about Green, one of the NFL’s all-time great corners, were just…weird. 

Green was a dominant player on two Super Bowl champions, a seven-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 1991. He was one of the fastest players in the league, a fearsome punt returner when necessary in playoff games and an all-around great player. Even other players from Samuel’s era were confused, including former Redskins safety Will Blackmon.

That's a pretty accurate description of the differences between Samuel's era and the way the game was played when Green was at his peak. Maybe he stuck around too long and maybe he wasn't close to the player he'd once been by the late 90s and early 2000s.


But peak Darrell Green was an unquestioned Hall-of-Fame player. Teams didn't throw at him for a reason. When they did, they paid for it. Samuel got a little aggressive for a guy who might have cost the Pats an extra Super Bowl. 


Tony Dungy, himself a great player and a Super Bowl champion as a player AND a coach, clapped back at Samuel for his ignorance of NFL history. 

That about says it all. 

For his part, Samuel doubled down responding to some tweets but by the afternoon he was starting to see the light. Sort of. 


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Ron Rivera reportedly hopes the Redskins can change their name before the 2020 season starts

Ron Rivera reportedly hopes the Redskins can change their name before the 2020 season starts

One day after his team announced they'd be launching a "thorough review" of its name, Ron Rivera told the Washington Post "it would be awesome" if the Redskins could complete the change before the 2020 season.

In fact, Rivera already has a few favorite ideas that he and Dan Snyder have tossed around in their recent, extensive discussions about the topic, though he wouldn't disclose them yet.

"We came up with a couple of names — two of them I really like," Rivera told Les Carpenter on Saturday.

In Washington's Friday statement, Rivera said, “This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.”


While talking with Carpenter, Rivera further explained that a new name must be respectful to both of those groups. 

"We want to do this in a positive way," Rivera said.


It feels like more progress has been made toward a possible change in the past few days than the past handful of years.

Snyder, who once proclaimed his organization would "NEVER" make a switch, is clearly softening his stance now. That shift comes as outside pressure has really mounted from every direction since Thursday.

According to the Post, the owner and his new coach have really focused on going to a new name over the last month, with Rivera hoping to end the process soon.

"My eyes are wide open," Rivera said to Carpenter.

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