The person at NFL Films who decided to mic up Matthew Stafford for the Browns game deserves a big raise and a huge pat on the back, because the resulting video that was posted earlier today on NFL.com is just pure awesomeness. We get to hear Stafford lead the offense, have some fun at Shaun Rogers' expense, pump up teammates on the sideline, and best of all, listen to what happened during the final drive of the game, including the moment when Stafford got up off the field and ran away from the trainers.
This whole segment was so great that it prompted the president of NFL Films to make a very complimentary statement about it.
NFL Films president Steve Sabol called it "the most dramatic player wiring ever."
NFL Films has wired for sound more than 350 players since 1965. "Stafford has earned a lasting place in the cinematic folklore of the NFL," Sabol said.
I personally have watched this video 5-10 times already because it really is eye-opening to see just how much pain Stafford was in at the end of the game and also to see how great of a leader he is. Throughout the game Stafford was talking to his teammates and getting them fired up, and to basically forget about the pain and go back out there for one more play despite the trainers all screaming for him not to is just amazing. I am not a big believer in anointing a player anything after only one game, but folks, Stafford is one of a kind.
After watching the video that showed us what Stafford is like during a game, it is evident that he is a great leader. I say that not only because he played through the pain and helped the Lions win the game, but also because of how he acted prior to that final drive. It seems like he was always talking to his teammates and saying encouraging things to keep them focused on the task at hand. On top of that, the amount of respect Stafford's teammates showed him was just great. And it's funny that a few weeks ago we were talking about how Calvin Johnson and Stafford might have a problem. After Stafford threw the touchdown pass to Brandon Pettigrew and was proclaiming that his shoulder was out, Calvin ran over and Stafford said, "I love you, man." Call it a man crush, but I feel the same way about Stafford right now. This video is that good and it just gets better and better every time I watch it.
(By the way, not awesome = the CBS announcers that did the game. I'm watching it on NFL Network right now and it's amazing how little emotion the play-by-play guy showed during this game and how many names both of them butchered. Seriously, who in the hell is Delvin Johnson?)