Tackling 101: Grab the Dreadlocks!
Something I’ve noticed over the years is the number of players displaying dreadlocks or long curls out from underneath the helmet. So long is the hair that it covers their names most of the time and even sometimes, the top of their numbers. Some players claim it makes them tougher, some even go as far-fetched as to say it teaches them patience. After all, it takes FOREVER to grow out your locks. Others, like Troy Polamalu on the left, do it to pay homage to his Samoan Heritage. My claim as to why players grow out their hair? It’s to make it easier for others to tackle them by- so rule #1 of Tackling 101 is to GRAB THEM DREADLOCKS! Some NFL names that have or had stylish dreadlocks on the battlefield? How about Dolphins’ Ricky Williams, Steelers’ Troy Polamalu, Cowboys’ Adam “Pac-Man” Jones, Titans’ Reynaldo Hill, Redskins’ Chris Horton, etc.
Notice how the names I mentioned play DEFENSE. Some pot-smoking offense idiots out there, like Ricky Williams, are too smart to understand they are actually hurting their offensive capabilities by giving tacklers an easy way to pull them down by.
Just ask Titans LB, Keith Bulluck,
“If I see a guy running with the ball and he has long hair, I’ll tackle him by it, sure.”
Bulluck who sported an Afro in his college days continued on to say,
“If a guy wants to wear it that long, he can be tackled by it. I’ll pull it on purpose.”
Taking Bulluck’s advice to heart was Louisville defender Travis Norton, a fellow dreadlock’r. During Rutgers’ Jourdan Brooks’ 62-yard run in the first half, Norton, who makes an outstanding effort to show he treats others the way he wants to be treated, stops Brooks from getting a touchdown by yanking him to the ground by his dreadlocks! After Brooks trotted back to the sidelines, television cameras caught a strand of his dreadlock on the field.
“I’d have to say on a scale of one to 10, an eight. No, nine,” Brooks said describing the pain of having one of his dreadlocks pulled out. “It hurt pretty bad. I never felt any pain like that. But I’m alright.”
You see, Brooks didn’t care about his dreadlock being yanked off because he got a nice SportsCenter moment that makes him a household name and a butt of a few jokes for the time being. Asked if he was upset about being tackled by his frolicking locks, Brooks responded “I was upset that he tackled me, I wanted to score there.” Now that’s the tough guy spirit!
See this classic dreadlock moment