Breaking-it-Down: Football for Drama Lovers

Football is a dramatic sport

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COLE QUINN

WSU running back Jaylen Jenkins (29) stiff-arms California safety Daniel Scott (32) during an NCAA football match, Oct. 1.

BEAU BRADEN

Football is the most popular sport in the U.S. known for astounding athletic performances, shocking triumphs and heartbreaking defeats, but the barrier to entry for understanding the game is among the likes of cricket and mechanical engineering.

The Daily Evergreen understands WSU students want to comprehend and enjoy watching football, so we present a new weekly breaking-it-down column to make football more entertaining to those who may not understand as much as others.

This inaugural football breakdown is for drama lovers; those who love to watch that one character on “Bachelor in Paradise”  they despise get what is coming to them, “The Real Housewives” binge-watchers and those who can not help themselves from hearing “tea” from their friends.

Because  this one is for the drama lovers, we’ll start with one of the most dramatic positions in football: the wide receiver.

Wide receivers (the guys who catch the ball from the quarterback) are like the Kardashians of football. They are usually the best dressed, consistently in the news (for better or worse) and sometimes we wonder why they’re famous in the first place.

Some of football’s most iconic petty moments come from future Terrell Owens, NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver also known as T.O.

T.O. is known for his outrageous plays and wilder celebrations. Throughout his 15-year NFL career, fans kept their eyes on their televisions to watch what he would do after touchdowns.

Owens once hid a pen in his sock to autograph the ball and give it to a fan after a touchdown, he stole a bucket of popcorn from a fan and dumped it onto his face and he once grabbed a cheerleader’s pom poms and danced with them in the endzone.

One T.O. celebration stands alone, however. This one is against the Dallas Cowboys.

To get an idea of how the Cowboys and its supporters view themselves, former Dallas linebacker D.D. Lewis once said, “Texas Stadium has a hole in its roof, so God can watch His favorite team play.”

On Sept. 24, 2000, Owens scored a touchdown for the San Francisco 49ers against the Cowboys. Immediately after, Owens sprinted to midfield, stood on the Dallas star logo and looked up through that hole in the roof to “give thanks to God.”

This move by Owens spurred a game within the game between the 49ers and the Cowboys.

After the next score, Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith made his way to midfield, planting the ball in the ground on the same star T.O. did earlier in the game.

“If you want it to be a battle, it’s going to be a battle,” Owens said. “We’re at your house. I did it the first time; you did it. Okay, then stop me from doing it again.”

The Cowboys could not stop T.O., however. After his second touchdown, Owens returned to midfield, planting the ball on the star-like Smith. But this time, Cowboys cornerback George Teague leveled Owens for disrespecting Dallas’ iconic logo.

While T.O.’s celebration on the Dallas Star happened more than 20 years ago, plenty of petty drama continues to occur around the football world.

On Sept. 9, 2017, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield led his No. 5 Sooners to a 31-16 upset over then No. 2 Ohio State.

Following the Sooners’ victory, Mayfield grabbed an OU flag from the cheer squad, ran to midfield in Ohio State’s stadium and planted Oklahoma’s flag on the Buckeyes’ logo.

Two years later, Mayfield was the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. On Monday Night Football, Mayfield and the Browns took on the 49ers.

49er defensive end and former Ohio State Buckeye Nick Bosa fought off two blockers on his way to Mayfield. Bosa tackled Mayfield behind the line of scrimmage for a sack and gave one of the most iconic, petty moments in football history.

After the sack, Bosa ran down the field, waved an imaginary flag and planted it into the ground, just as Mayfield did to his Buckeyes two years prior.

Washington State fans may remember a similar moment from the 2021 Apple Cup: former WSU quarterback Jayden de Laura planted “Ol’ Crimson” into the Washington W after the Cougs’ 40-13 victory over the Huskies.

If you’re looking for drama-filled football this weekend, the game for you is at 1:25 p.m. on Sunday when the Buffalo Bills take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

The matchups between the Bills and the Chiefs have been classics over the last few years. In the 2020 AFC Championship game, Kansas City beat Buffalo 38-24 and earned a trip to the Super Bowl.

The teams met twice last season. In the first matchup, the Bills won 38-20. But in the playoffs, the Chiefs won in overtime after the fourth quarter where the teams combined for a whopping 27 points.

It is safe to assume the Bills will seek revenge against the Chiefs Sunday. But, regardless of the outcome, this game between two of the best quarterbacks and offenses in the NFL should be another dramatic finish.