Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Workhorse Award: Chase Anastasio

I was watching Nevin O'Donnell's 2005 Highlight Video (go ahead and click and watch the whole thing again. I'll wait. Are you back? Allright), as is my wont during these football-starved times. After getting a buzz from this rock & roll-fueled injection of last year's most most incredible plays, I suddenly came to the realization as to what my favorite play of the 2005 season was. Earlier, the fellas at BGS put together a top ten list of clips, and while pretty solid, I was distraught to see that the ass-kickingest play of the year didn't make the cut (it's buried down in the honorable mentions).

I'm speaking, of course, of Tom Zbikowski's madcap, rumbling, get-out-of-my-fucking-way punt return for a touchdown in the first half of the USC game. Now, I've been attending amateur and professional sporting events for nearly my entire life, and I've seen my fair share of ridiculously awesome plays, but nothing can compare to the noise and unfettered jubilation that came after Zibby's return. I can't really explain it if you weren't there, but it felt like hell itself had rend itself open and ignited the stadium in a fiery inferno. In an effort to hug everyone in the section, I took a semi-drunken tumble down a flight of stairs in the aisle. It was insanity.

But watching Nevin's video, I saw something phenomenal which had evaded my detection in the chaos that ensued. Lost in the shuffle of Zbikowski's superhuman efforts was an earth-shattering block by the unheralded special teams workhorse Chase Anastasio. As Zbikowski plowed through the second layer of USC defenders, Anastasio opened up an entire side of the field with a blindside decleating of an oversized USC tackler, paving the way for Zibby's run.

One of the cornerstones of The House Rock Built is to give credit to the unheralded little guy whose gutty and self-sacrificing achievements often get overshadowed by the razzle-dazzle of the main attraction. So here's a salute to you, Chase Anastasio.


At 8:01 AM, Blogger Sean H. said...

When Zibby ran that kick back I started stomping around my basement pumping my fist saying stuff like, "F* Yeah! We're gonna win!"

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous mike said...

after that return i KNEW we were gonna win. and now every time i see that clip i want to kick a dog, hopefully a poodle.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a secondary highlight. One of those things that make the highlight possible. On one of the BGS top ten plays, Darius flips a blitzing Tennessee LB while Stovall gets the big pass play.

Can't wait for September.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Paul said...

fightinamish --

That was a list I created at BGS. One of the things my editor, Jay, cut was the explanation of how I picked them. One rule I followed was a Charlie Weis concept -- it can't be a really great play if it came in a losing effort. I made an exception for the Quinn play because I (still) argue that it jumpstarted his 2006 Heisman campaign. So...no matter how cool...no other plays from OSU, MSU or SC.

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how Chase doesn't even leave his feet and sorta jumps around the fallen Trojan afterward like a crazed dog just about to dive in and eviscerate the intestines of his prey.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous JVH said...

Excellent call. Best feeling I ever had after a play in the stadium. The return happened in the second quarter when the entire stadium still had a nice buzz going and still had plenty of energy. It was also totally unexpected. Most big plays from the past that stand out like Brooks' two-point conversion in 92 and Shawn Wooden knocking down Charlie Ward in 93, come at the end of the game with an air of anticipation. Zibby's return rocked the house.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nevermind that the play never should have been.

The USC punter was run into and knocked down on the play.

It was an ill-gotten touchdown.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger fightinamish said...

Please, please please please, please don't get me started on ill-gotten touchdowns in that game.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger Sean H. said...

Uh, yeah. What he said.

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

....i'm sorry your PAC-10 refs botched a pseudo roughing the kicker in your Poodle asskissing fest.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Kanka said...

I think we need to put together a Top 10 Blocks list for the past season.

One of my favorites came on Samardzija's big TD run against Stanford. Shelton took a flying, shoulder-first leap into a Stanford linebacker. Shelton of course bounced right off of the guy, but it was enough to slow down that guy and the guy behind him. And that's the block that made the TD possible.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Sean H. said...

Stovall had several. Against TN on The Shark TD and earlier in that game on Fasano's TD.


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