With the NFL’s new rules and penalties bogging down the game, and concussion settlements being at the forefront as players consider their quality of life after football, it’s easy to forget that football is a violent game played by massive human beings. Sometimes when you least expect it, that train is coming, and you better be ready.
When Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Chris Conte ranged over to make a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald on Monday Night Football, the world was watching as the 267-pound Beaumont, Texas native took on Conte. The ending, well, it wasn’t pretty for one of them.
It was a simple corner route to the sideline for the sixth-year tight end, who played his college football at Rice University. What the Texas-bred boy did next, though, set the football world ablaze and will forever haunt Chris Conte’s nightmares. McDonald buried a stiff arm right in Conte’s chest, ran him over, and galloped for a 75-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Vance McDonald Stiff Arm
The Steelers (1-1-1) picked up their first win of the season holding on for a 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) on the road. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out-dueled Ryan Fitzpatrick on the night, racking up 353 yards on 30 of 38 passing with three touchdowns, but none were bigger than McDonald’s catch-and-run to the end zone.
After the game, McDonald had some fun with the play, saying that his goal was to “punish him” and that he was aiming right at “his temple and to just crush him.”
What’s worse than being stiff-armed into the abyss and getting bombarded by the Internet for it? Conte left the game shortly after due a knee injury he sustained while being manhandled.
In classic fashion, the internet managed to catch every angle of the play, drum up a colorful NFL past for the 29-year-old safety, and even troll the wrong Chris Conte all in the process.
It’s a shame that Conte was injured in the process, but regardless of which side of the game you were on, this 75-yard TD is one of the best we’ll ever see.
You can believe that Vance McDonald and his grown man strength will be playing with a ton of confidence after being an Internet sensation, too.
This post was originally published September 25, 2018, but I’m pretty sure Chris Conte still has nightmares about this play.