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Look Out Hillis, You’ve Got Some Competition

Posted By Fran Berkman On Jan 31 2011 @ 1:45 pm In Cleveland Browns | 2 Comments

There’s an unexpected name creeping up behind Peyton Hillis on the Cleveland Browns’ depth chart.  Any guesses?  How about Alex Mack!  The Browns’ young Center, who was a late addition to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, made highlights when he rumbled into the end zone for a touchdown as time expired in yesterday’s game in Hawaii.

The comedy of the play was a microcosm of Pro Bowls in general, which may be the most meaningless event in professional sports.  With sixteen seconds to go, and the game out of reach Mack snapped the ball to Matt Cassel.  At that point, the pass rushers and offensive linemen both stood up and started chatting with one another.  Cassel then found a familiar target in his teammate Dwayne Bowe with a 20-yard pass.  As the rest of the offensive linemen continued to yuck it up with their opponents, Mack took off down field making himself a target for a lateral from Bowe.  Instead, Bowe flipped the ball to Montell Owens…who the hell is that anyway?  As I type this it’s getting increasingly ridiculous in my mind.  What I’d like to say now is that Mack then counted his losses, stopped running and accepted that his 2010-11 NFL season was over.  I’m afraid not my friends.  Mack continued to follow the play, and after being wrapped up by a defender Owens basically handed the ball to Mack (who still almost dropped it).  Mack took the ball 40-yards, breaking a tackle from Roman Harper along the way.  Harper, who now knows what it’s like to have a rhino charging at him, looked like there were roughly ten to twelve things he would have preferred to been doing that day rather than being in the Pro Bowl.  To cap it all off, Mack took a dive, gracefully belly flopping into the end zone. 

Not that anyone cares, but the AFC ended up losing the game 55-41 after failing on the two point conversion attempt that followed Mack’s heroics.  At one point in the first half, the NFC led the game 42-0.

I’d now like to take the opportunity to tell you that is has been very difficult for me to get this far into this story without making a reference to the show “The Secret World of Alex Mack” [1].  I have refrained from doing so out of respect to you, the readers.

Okay so maybe Hillis’ spot on the Browns is safe (as long as he stops fumbling), but you still have to admire Mack’s exuberance.  He and his Pro Bowl team mate Joe Thomas, who are twenty-five and twenty-six respectively, should be anchors on the Browns offensive line for years to come.

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[1] “The Secret World of Alex Mack”: http://www.myclassiclyrics.com/artist_biographies/Larisa_Oleynik_Biography.htm

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