Thirty-two dreams came true Thursday night during the first round of the NFL draft — but the 2019 picks had extremely varied reactions after hearing their names called by commissioner Roger Goodell.
Some calmly approached the stage, some went for an ill-timed chest bump, and others – like Rashan Gary – simply couldn’t control their emotions.
Gary, a defensive end from Michigan, was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the No. 12 pick of the night. The former Wolverine wasn’t present at the draft in Nashville, instead choosing to watch the evening unfold from Ann Arbor with family members and friends.
When he received the call that he had been drafted by the Packers, Gary immediately burst into tears. He could be heard thanking the Green Bay executive on the other end of the line before picking up a Packers hat, prompting a round of loud cheers from his loved ones.
Sorry to burst your bubble, Patriots haters – a guy who knows a thing or two about Super Bowls (and great quarterbacks) says there’s no use betting against them.
Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who has spent his entire career alongside Aaron Rodgers and won a Super Bowl with him in 2011, is picking New England to win Super Bowl LIII.
“The amount of experience they’ve had and how they’ve been able to stay on top is truly remarkable,” he told AOL.com. “Even in the losses they’ve had in the Super Bowl, they haven’t been blowouts.”
As fans of the New Orleans Saints know all too well, one flag – or a flag not thrown – can completely alter the course of a season.
By now everyone has seen or heard about the blown call during the NFC championship game between those Saints and the Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams. The NFL has admitted that the refs made a mistake and subsequently fined Rams defender Nickell Robey-Coleman for targeting on the play.
However, no amount of apologizing can halt what has already begun – a demand for the NFL to change the rules surrounding pass interference. And unfortunately for the league, that wasn’t the only questionable rule or play that the masses took notice of during championship weekend.
During the AFC championship game, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones was penalized for roughing the passer after grazing the face mask of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots were able to continue the drive and score a touchdown.
The call looked all too familiar to Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers.
Clay Matthews now wears a helmet for a living, but when he was a young boy, not wearing a helmet nearly cost him his life.
When the Green Bay Packers linebacker was a child, an accident while riding his scooter left him unconscious, bloodied and at risk for serious brain swelling.
“I went down a driveway and I must’ve hit a rock,” Matthews told AOL.com. “I went right over the handlebars and unfortunately hit my face and head directly on the asphalt.”
Matthews’ mother had her hands full with him and his four siblings while their father was out of town during his own NFL career. She had told Matthews to wear a helmet, but he didn’t listen. When she rushed to her son’s aid, she found him so severely scraped up that his face looked “like it had gone through a meat grinder.”
New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett was the subject of severe backlash this weekend as questions continue to swirl around his reported shoulder injury.
Bennett, who played with the Patriots last season and was a part of their historic Super Bowl LI win, signed with the Green Bay Packers over the offseason. He started in seven games through the first nine weeks for Green Bay, but the team ultimately cut him on November 8, citing a failure to disclose a medical condition.
The tight end had previously revealed that he was considering retirement and surgery on his injured shoulder. However, those options seemed to be swept off the table when Bill Belichick and the Patriots came calling late last week.