New England Patriots logoNew England Patriots

Dan Connolly: New England Patriots Guard Runs Wild for Big Guys Everywhere

FOXBOROUGH, MA - 2009:  Dan Connolly of the New England Patriots poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  (Photo by NFL Photos)
NFL Photos/Getty Images
James WalkerAnalyst IIDecember 20, 2010

Admit it—when you saw Dan Connolly's runback Sunday night you were hoping he would make it into the end zone, right?  Regardless of what level of allegiance you have to the New England Patriots or the Green Bay Packers, you had to hope that the big guy would cross the goal line.

Every man who ever played on the line, offensive or defensive, stood on their feet and cheered as Connolly chugged down the field.

Once upon a time I was a big guy before losing close to one hundred pounds, and growing up I was the kid that snapped the ball, blocked or rushed the quarterback.  Athletic ability was nowhere to be found when I played.  However, I, like every other fat kid who played football growing up, dreamed of scoring a touchdown.

Dan Connolly's version of that same dream almost came true on a nationally televised game.

Connolly's return was the ugliest and most time-consuming runback that one could witness.  It was also the greatest return by a lineman in the history of the NFL.

He carried the ball like a loaf of bread.  At first he kept both hands over the ball like every six-year-old boy is taught, but once he broke into the open it looked like he was running home with a loaf of bread to make a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Falling just short of the goal line, not only did his teammates provide high-fives and pats on the helmet, every fan of football had a smile on their face to match the look of disbelief that was in their eyes.

Make no mistake—football is America's game.  Games on the gridiron have been full of dreams of millions of boys and men for many years.  Perhaps one of Dan Connolly's dreams came true last night.

Big guys everywhere gave him a thumb's up for his performance, that's for sure.


James Walker is a National and Syndicated Writer for Bleacher Report.  You can follow him on:

Twitter -

Facebook -

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices