Besides the New Orleans Saints romp over the New York Giants, the big news coming out of the NFL after Sundays rounds of games is another hit video — the Dante Wesley hit on Clifton Smith video. The Dante Wesley hit on Clifton Smith video is one of the most watched highlights of the this week’s games. Most people who watch football games like to see a lot of contact and big hits in football contests are as popular as great catches and elusive running plays. But some of the hits delivered are not of the “good” variety. Not only was the Dante Wesley hit on Clifton Smith not “good,” it could even be considered a cheap shot.
The Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were playing a hardfought game and the score was tied at 7-7 as the clock moved closer to halftime. Carolina punted the ball and the Bucs’ Clifton Smith was awaiting the ball when Panthers safety and special teams player Dante Wesley lowered his shouldered and launched himself at Smith’s head. The blow sent Smith crashing to the ground. He was knocked out for at least a minute.
In the meantime, penalty flags flew as both teams spilled out onto the field. Dante Wesley was called for interference and a personal foul, then was ejected from the game.
The Panthers would escape the game with a 28-21 victory.
During the post-game interviews, Dante Wesley said he wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. “I was just trying to make a play. You can check my record. …. I’ve never really tried to hurt anybody. I’ve never tried to take a cheap shot on anybody.”
The Dante Wesley hit comes just a week after Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis’ hit on Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco garnered him a $25,000 fine (along with kicking another Cincinnati player during another play). The helmet-to-helmet hit on Ochocinco was so brutal it knocked his helmet loose. The Ray Lewis hit video became a YouTube hit.
Ray Lewis, many of whose devastating hits can be found online, said he would appeal the fine.
Two weeks ago, a hit delivered against arguably the best football player in college football knocked him unconscious with a severe concussion. Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the then #1 ranked Florida Gators, was drilled by a Kentucky defensive tackle Taylor Wyndham. But then his head hit the knee of his teammate on the way to the ground. He was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center and kept for observation. The video of Tim Tebow getting knocked out became an internet hit as well.
As for Clifton Smith, he Dante Wesley’s hit delivered a forearm to Smith’s throat, resulting in Smith having trouble talking afterwards. Smith also sustained a concussion. A report from Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris revealed that trainers indicate Smith was “up and moving around.”
A fine is expected to be levied against Dante Wesley for his hit on Clifton Smith. Thus far, however, there has been no word from the NFL.
Dante Wesley hit on Clifton Smith video via NFL.Fanhouse.com.
Fox Sports Television