The 30 Biggest NFL Collisions

Ed NoveloCorrespondent IIISeptember 7, 2011

The 30 Biggest NFL Collisions

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    They call the NFL a "collision sport," and after you watch the following 30 hits, you'll see exactly why.

    Given the amount of vicious hits that occur game after game, season after season, it's amazing that any of these guys even remember their names or how to tie their shoes.  

    They sacrifice their bodies for the love of the sport, and we love them for it. They make Sunday the best day of the week, and when we hear the crack of the helmets, it's man at his most primal. 

    You get the point, so let's just watch guys get rocked, yeah?    

    Here we go.

30. Ben Roethlisberger Breaks Nose

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    Who was involved: Ben Roethlisberger and that really big guy, Haloti Ngata.  

    What went down: Roethlisberger did, as he was getting his face crushed. His nose broke, and I bet it hurt all kinds. 

    What Roethlisberger was thinking as he was getting crushed: I think I have a good lawyer. My mom still talks to me, too. He seems pretty good, and he invited me over to his house this weeken—oh my god! My face! But more specifically, my nose! 

29. Willis McGahee Is Done, Son

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    Who was involved: Willis McGahee and Ryan Clark.

    What went down: McGahee was running really fast, then he was hit really hard and wasn't running so fast anymore. 

    What McGahee was thinking as he was getting crushed: Uh oh. Maybe if I close my eyes really tight and imagine a world where chicks don't wear bras and...oh my...oh my. How long have I been a chicken? Why did no one tell me?  

28. Wes Welker Almost Completes a Backflip, but Involuntarily

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    Who was involved: Wes Welker and Ryan Clark.

    What went down: Welker was running across the middle of the field, waiting for a pass from Tom Brady, and then everything went dark.

    What Welker was thinking as he got crushed: Well, I had a good life. Nobody really thought I'd get this far in the NFL and...whoa. Have I always been living in 1983? What's with everyone's hair? So poofy. Huh? Oh, that's Troy Polamalu. And 83...that's my jersey number. 

27. The Only Way to Make DeSean Jackson Shut Up

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    Who was involved: DeSean Jackson and Dunta Robinson.

    What went down: Jackson and Robinson were running at incredible speeds, ran into each other, fused bodies for a moment—you have to pause it—and then unfused. It was as awesome as it was disturbing.

    What Jackson was thinking as he was getting crushed: Man, I'm just so amazing. I honestly think I need to find more ways to showboat. But first I'll just dodge this fool Robinson in spectacular fashion and...

    Ten minutes later...let's make that 20 minutes...

    Man, I'm just so amazing. I honestly think...

    You get the point.

26. Hines Ward Taking Many Names

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    Who was involved: First one is Hines Ward and Bart Scott, and the second is Hines Ward and Daven Holly, and the third one is Hines Ward and Ed Reed, and the fourth is Hines Ward and Nick Ferguson, and the fifth is Hines Ward and Keith Rivers, and the sixth is Hines Ward and Jesus, because Ward will level anyone. 

    What went down: a lot of cheap shots.

    What they all were thinking as they were getting crushed: I'm totally going to mess this guy up, and...what just happened? Dammit. I was just hit by Ward, wasn't I? God, he always does that. Someday, I will have my revenge. 

25. Anquan Boldin Breaks His Face

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    Who was involved: Anquan Boldin and Eric Smith.

    What went down: Boldin was in the process of making a touchdown catch, then Smith crushed his face and there was no touchdown.

    What Boldin was thinking: I like touchdowns, especially when they involve me. Oh, look—here comes one now. I'll just raise my hands and catch this, and there we are, and—is that? My face just broke!

24. Chad Ochocinco Loses at Least 50 Brain Cells

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    Who was involved: Chad Ochocinco and Brian Russell.

    What went down: Ochocinco's helmet as it was removed from his head after a vicious hit that left him believing he should ride a bull sometime in the future.  

    What Ochocinco was thinking as he was crushed: I think for my next touchdown celebration I'll cure cancer, and somehow I'll work a pinata in there, and...where'd my helmet go?

23. Just Get Keyshawn the Damn Ball!

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    Who was involved: Keyshawn Johnson and Corwin Brown.

    What went down: Johnson was going to make a catch over the middle, and then his head exploded. 

    What Johnson was thinking as he was crushed: They don't throw me the ball enough. I mean, it's like, just get me the damn ball. I got all this talent. For instance, I will make this catch right now, then...why don't I remember my address? Surely, I live somewhere. Get me the damn ball!

22. Punters Aren't Safe

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    Who was involved: Antwan Barnes and Saverio Rocca.

    What went down: Rocca had just punted the ball away, and as he was running down the field, an extremely powerful gust of wind knocked him over. And in that gust was Antwan Barnes. 

    What Rocca was thinking as he was crushed: Man, I get sick of running down the field after a punt. They don't pay me enough to make a tackle, and it's not like I can anyway. Just act like you care and it'll be over before you know—I taste blood. That's it, I'm retiring.  

21. Brad Smith Gets Twisted

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    Who was involved: Patrick Willis and Brad Smith.

    What went down: Brad Smith was catching a ball over the middle as he was hit low and high by two players, leaving him in a lot of pain. But it's OK, he lived.

    What Smith was thinking as he was crushed: Just hold on to the football, for the love of God. spine! Ouch, my spine! It just hurts so much! 

20. Ray Lewis Destroys Keith Burns

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    Who was involved: Ray Lewis and Keith Burns.

    What went down: On a seriously pathetic field goal attempt, Chris McAllister was returning the kick when Ray Lewis destroyed an unsuspecting Keith Burns. 

    What Burns was thinking as he was getting crushed: What the hell was that? I could have kicked the ball farther than that. Why do we even pay these guys? Now I have to go tackle this dude, I can taste my ass. Was I just hit? Yup, there goes Ray Lewis. Ouch. 

19. Michael Vick Gets Blown Up

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    Who was involved: Michael Vick and Brian Dawkins.

    What went down: Michael Vick, thinking he's actually a running back—as usual—was headed for the end zone when he got blown up by Dawkins.

    What Vick was thinking as he was crushed: Yup, there's the end zone. Just keep running around and you'll get there. I'm so crazy talented, and nobody can touch me. And what's more, I love my ribs—and they're so intact. Ah, man. 

18. Chris Henry Gets Knocked Silly

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    Who was involved: Chris Henry and John Lynch.

    What went down: Chris Henry thought he was about to get a touchdown, then John Lynch put him to sleep, and it looked like it hurt. 

    What Henry was thinking as he was crushed: The end zone's just a step away. I'll just catch this and take a step and everyone will give me slap on the butt. I would never tell anyone this, but I love that slap on the butt, and...oh, come on man!

17. Trent Edwards Becomes One with the Turf

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    Who was involved: Trent Edwards and Adrian Wilson.

    What went down: Edwards had just released the ball, and Wilson drilled him into the turf, leaving Edwards left to die. 

    What Edwards was thinking as he was crushed: Mom said I should have been a lawyer, but I think I enjoy this. I'll just throw this ball and keep doing what I'm doing. I mean, it's not as dangerous as they say. Oh! head! I can literally see the birds chirping around...

16. Punters Aren't Even Safe at the Pro Bowl

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    Who was involved: Brian Moorman and Sean Taylor.

    What went down: Brian Moorman did something no punter should do—running a fake punt and going for a first down. 

    What Moorman was thinking as he was being crushed: What do I have to worry about? This is the Pro Bowl, and nobody takes it seriously. I'll just get a first down, everyone will clap, and maybe I'll even make it onto SportsCenter. Just going to turn the corner here, and there's Taylor. Hi, Taylor—and my back is broken in three places. 

15. Roy Williams Is Only Good at One Thing...

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    Who was involved: Roy Williams and Tai Streets.

    What went down: Classic caught pass followed by classic bone-crushing hit. It's all very classic, you see. 

    What Streets was thinking as he was crushed: He was thinking the same thing I was thinking, "So Roy Williams isn't completely useless."

14. Dallas Clark vs. Rookie

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    Who was involved: Tanard Jackson and Dallas Clark.

    What went down: Dallas Clark went to make a catch over the middle and got lit up by a rookie, and then the rookie accidentally stepped on his head.

    What Clark was thinking as he was crushed: Look at this rookie coming at me. He thinks he's tough. Yeah, I hear footsteps, but they're faint because you're a stupid little rookie. I can't stop screaming.  

13. Ray Lewis Is One Bad Man

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    Who was involved: Ray Lewis and Dustin Keller.

    What went down: Dustin Keller went over the middle to make a catch, but he didn't realize that was Ray Lewis' turf, so he learned the hard way.

    What Keller was thinking as he was being crushed: You know what episode of Seinfeld I like best? The one where Elaine dances. Those "little kicks" are really something. I think I'll watch it later...and my ribs are broken. Wow, no penalty?   

12. Chuck Bednarik Defines Himself

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    Who was involved: Chuck Bednarik and Frank Gifford.

    What went down: As the video says, "Bednarik's combative nature was defined forever by one tackle he made in 1960. Frank Gifford of the New York Giants was on the receiving end of a hit that reverberates still in the hearts of Philadelphia fans."

    What Gifford was thinking as he was crushed: I'll just catch this and...wait a second. It was 1:15 a minute ago, and now it's 3:23. What happened? Where am I? Who am I? This is all very existential, I know, but...

11. Chris Henry Runs into a Wall

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    Who was involved: Darrell Reid and Chris Henry.

    What went down: Henry was making a kick return when he was destroyed by Reid, who hated Henry and everything he stood for.  

    What Henry was thinking as he was crushed: I think I see a seam. Just keep your head straight, hit the hole hard and pick up some yards. Wait, that's not a seam at all. It's a person! And he looks mad!

10. Asante Samuel Can Actually Tackle

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    Who was involved: Asante Samuel and Dexter McCluster.

    What went down: Dexter McCluster caught a pass, turned around, was hit and flew into the air, and all before he could say, "I love Oscar Mayer weiners." 

    What McCluster was thinking as he was crushed: Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner, that is what I'd truly like to be, 'cause if I were an Oscar Mayer weiner, everyone would be in love with—what the hell? I was told Samuel couldn't tackle! 

9. Now People Will Know the Name...Billy Miller

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    Who was involved: Cedric Griffin and Billy Miller.

    What went down: Billy Miller caught a pass, was running and then found himself looking face down at the turf as a result of a wicked hit from Cedric Griffin. 

    What Miller was thinking as he was getting crushed: Look at all this open field. I can just run and run. Maybe I can make it to the end zone. My momma would be so proud. Oh...everything hurts. I am not OK—I am definitely, not OK. 

8. Brandon Meriweather Tries to Kill

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    Who was involved: Brandon Meriweather and Todd Heap's head.

    What went down: Meriweather thought the goal of football was to crush brains, so he attacked Heap's head like some kind of brain-attacking parasite.

    What Heap was thinking as he was crushed: Heap wasn't thinking anything, because his brain was all mushy, like scrambled eggs. But when he came to, he was thinking that he wanted to punch Meriweather. 

7. James Harrison Getting One of His Many Fines

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    Who was involved: Mohamed Massaquoi and James Harrison.

    What went down: Massaquoi caught a pass and was hit by the force that is known as James Harrison. It's an experience, man. 

    What Massaquoi was thinking as he was being crushed: James Harrison is coming...I led a good life. My God...I'm still breathing! Ah, man, but all of my precious childhood memories have been erased. 

6. Jack Tatum Really Must Stop Destroying People

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    Who was involved: Jack Tatum and Sammy White.

    What went down: Sammy White caught a pass and then promptly went to sleep, but he still held on to the ball—remarkable. 

    What Smith was thinking as he was crushed: Is that Tatum?! No!! OK, I'm still alive, but whose feet are these by my aching head? Is that Tatum?! Momma! 

5. Kevin Everett Is Almost Paralyzed

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    Who was involved: Kevin Everett and Domenik Hixon

    What went down: Everett was going to make a tackle when he hit Hixon, suffering a serious injury to his spinal cord. 

    What Hixon was thinking: I'm not touching this one, is what I'm thinking. On the bright side, Everett has regained movement in his legs and can even walk now, which is great news. 

4. Reggie Bush Folds Like a Lawn Chair, and Other Things That Fold

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    Who was involved: The single greatest running back of all time, Reggie Bush—yes, that was sarcasm—and Sheldon Brown. 

    What went down: Reggie Bush continued to think he was still playing in college, and he was prepared to run in a straight line down the sideline, until he got destroyed. 

    What Bush was thinking as he was getting crushed: My ribs! Seriously, I can taste them. I can taste my ribs right now. And it tastes lovely...or terrible. Brain isn't working. Must consult...plumber? Kim where are you? Wait, I'm...ouch. 

3. Dick Butkus Should Be Institutionalized

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    Who was involved: Dick Butkus and everyone you hold dear.

    What went down: People would touch the football and Butkus would kill them. 

    What everyone was thinking as they were crushed: Butkus?! He's coming! Oh, no! This is it, yo. This is it! How is this guy allowed to leave his house!? No! Everything's broken! It's all broken!

2. Lawrence Taylor Breaks a Leg

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    Who was involved: Lawrence Taylor and Joe Theismann.

    What went down: Theismann was going to throw the ball when Taylor came around the edge and sacked him, landing on his leg and breaking it in 10,000 places. 

    What Theismann was thinking as he was being crushed: AH! The unbelievable pain! This is what hell must feel like! It...oh, it shouldn't be bending that way! No way! 

1. Jack Tatum Paralyzes Player

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    Who was involved: Jack Tatum and Darryl Stingley.

    What went down: Tatum hit Stingley hard as he was trying to make a catch over the middle, paralyzing him. 

    What Stingley was thinking as he was crushed: Let's just leave this one alone, is what I'm thinking.