The first week of the NFL is just getting under way and we already have an all-new version of the “kick heard around the world.” Only, it’s not a field goal. It’s the Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning finding himself on the receiving end of what he usually does with the ball in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here’s what happened. Cleveland punted to the Steeler’s wide receiver Antonio Brown, who broke the return for a big gain. Lanning found himself as the last line of defense and broke down in the correct position to try and tackle Brown. Instead of trying to cut, spin, or bowl over the punter, Brown decided to try and hurdle him instead. Then this happened, as captured by Bleacher Report.
Ouch. That looked awkward as Brown just put the foot back in football. Let’s look at it from another angle in this Vine video.
If you’re of the opinion that a play like that deserves a penalty, you would not be wrong. The referees did throw a flag on the play.
Antonio Brown flagged for unnecessary roughness after kicking Spencer Lanning in the face on a Steelers punt return. — Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 7, 2014
The reaction by NFL fans and former player on Twitter was of course immediate and full of jokes.
Update: This video from Benstonium takes the win.
— Benstonium (@Benstonium) September 7, 2014
Original article continued:
Who did it better? RT- Antonio Brown Favorite- The Undertaker pic.twitter.com/kZf3lBn5LM — Football Vines (@FbaIIVines) September 7, 2014
THIS JUST IN: Antonio Brown has been added as a character in the next Street Fighter game. — SportsNation (@SportsNation) September 7, 2014
Did Antonio Brown just kick someone in the head??? No sure I have ever seen that before??? — Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) September 7, 2014
Antonio Brown kicking the punter in the face is pretty much perfect for the way this rivalry goes. — Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) September 7, 2014
Antonio Brown just Sparta kicked our punter — not Johnny Manziel (@JohnnyFootbalI) September 7, 2014
The 2014 NFL season is off to an interesting start with this one play. It will be interesting to see if the league office will have any additional penalties ready to levy against Brown. Do you think he should be fined for this play or should everyone just laugh it off as an attempted hurdle gone wrong? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Jason Bridge, USA TODAY Sports, Bleacher Report]