Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Oct 2009

Did the Vikings' Dugan Target the Official?

On my way home from work Tuesday evening, I turn on the "Brian Kenney Show" on ESPN Radio. I start listening in the middle of a discussion Brian is having with Gregg Easterbrook, a.k.a., TMQ, on whether or not Brian Dugan of the Vikings intentionally ran over the official on Percy Harvin's kick-off return for a TD. Recall, Dugan was the Viking who had the controversial tripping penalty called on him, which negated a TD play. Since I missed the beginning of the discussion, I don't know who originated the topic. Easterbrook goes all lawyer-like on Brian and won't go any farther than saying it's possible Dugan did it intentionally. At first, I just chalk it up to Easterbrook being a crazy douche bag.

But, then I start to wonder. Bob Griese just got suspended for a week for saying something stupid on ESPN airwaves, so I think maybe Brian Kenney and Gregg Easterbrook might have something to back up this claim. I go to YouTube and find the following highlights clip from the Vikings-Steelers game:

Watch from about 3:30-3:37 of the clip. I'll let you draw your own conclusions. I don't follow the Vikings and I know nothing about Brian Dugan, so other than this clip, I have no data with which to make a judgment about what was going through Dugan's mind as he collided with the official. I want to believe it was an accident because I have a hard time believing any NFL player would be so completely and utterly stupid as to target an official.

Posted by: jayinalaska on 28 Oct 2009

1 reply , Last at 03 Nov 2009, 12:48pm by Bowl Game Anomaly

Re: Did the Vikings' Dugan Target the Official?
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 11/03/2009 - 12:48pm

First of all his name is Jeff Dugan, not Brian Dugan.

Secondly, it's hard to tell from the clip but it was probably an accident (either he didn't see the ref until the last second, or he thought the ref was moving when he was actually still). Dugan was trying not to get in Harvin's way, so he might not have had much room to maneuver.

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