Danny Trevathan's Humiliating Mistake

Danny Trevathan's Touchdown That Wasn't

9/6/13 in NFL   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

Sep 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) runs back an interception and fumbles the ball short of the goal line for a touchback during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The call was ruled a touchback and the Ravens regained possession. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY SportsBroncos linebacker Danny Trevathan had the combination of misfortune, overzealousness and carelessness in the NFL season opener.  Following his interception of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, Trevathan was about to score a touchdown and started his celebration not just a little too early, but way too early for there to even be a debate as to whether he’d scored or not. He dropped the ball at the one-yard line and the result was a touchback. The ball went back to the Ravens. It didn’t hurt the Broncos as they rode Peyton Manning’s seven touchdown passes to a 49-27 win. The question surrounding the play is how to stop players from making the same mistake.

It’s easy to say that Trevathan won’t ever do that again, but there are players who have made these types of gaffes and repeated the same behaviors that caused it. Barry Bonds was notorious for his lackadaisical way of catching fly balls as if he was the coolest guy in the room. Occasionally he would drop one. In response to the booing, catcalls and columns telling him to quit the practice, he’d become even more flamboyant in his languidness just to prove a point. Presumably the point was that nobody was going to tell Barry what to do. It was only allowed and proven because there was nothing anyone could do about it.

With Trevathan, I would say it’s a safe bet that he won’t repeat the error. He was unlucky in that this was opening night of the 2013 NFL season and everyone saw it. It was the only game on, it was a humiliating mistake and it gave the broadcasters and media a topic to focus on after Manning’s superlative performance and Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s contract extension.

In the heat of the moment, players will make mistakes that they’ve been specifically told not to make. We see it in baseball when players slide into first base on a close play in spite of being repeatedly told and then ordered not to do it again because it: A) slows them down; and B) can very easily result in an injury. Yet they still do it.

Trevathan’s fumble wasn’t because he was ignoring coaching because most coaches wouldn’t think that they have to tell players not to drop or spike the ball before they’ve actually scored, but it happens and it’s a viral story when it does. He was careless and the combination of embarrassment within the Broncos, throughout the rest of the league, in the media and public will probably prevent him from repeating it.

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