Dan Connolly is the B-17 of football.

 
I had an interesting conversation at work today that sparked a thought.  With me, that's kind of a dangerous proposition, so let's see where this goes.

For those of us that didn't live through World War II (yes, that includes me, Ninja), there was this nifty plane called the B-17 flying fortress that was used during the war.  Now bombers aren't particularly fast, especially when fully loaded like they are on the way to the target, so pretty much they're easy targets for fighters.  The reason it was called a fortress is that there were gun turrets all over it to try to protect the plane (that's like the stiff-arm in the NFL).  The problem was with the belly gunner.  You fly under the bird, nail that guy, and the plane was pretty much a sitting duck from the bottom.

B17_medium

Enter the P-51 Mustang.  This speedy little fighter could fly over with the bigger B-17 and take out the bad guys first (like blockers in the NFL).

 P-51-october1942_medium

via upload.wikimedia.org

Where am I going with this?  As Dan was running, guys were flying around him making blocks all over the field.  Some guys made a couple blocks in different areas of the field because they were fast enough to keep up with Connolly.  My buddy said, "It kind of makes sense.  Why use the fastest guy on the team who can outrun all of his blocks?  Why not use the fast guys to block for the slower guy that can defend himself?"  That's when it hit me that Dan Connolly was a B-17, and our special teams players were P-51s clearing the way for the guy that's carrying the payload.

While I loved the play and was laughing myself silly, the reason it worked wasn't just because Dan is a stud (though he proved that he is).  It's because of all the Patriotic little mustangs that cleared the path for him.  That was team play at its best.

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