If New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs wants to win back the starting job, he’s probably going to need his helmet. Which is why it was weird to see this random tweet from SNFonNBC during a commercial break in the second half of the Giants/Colts Sunday Night Football game:
This is almost as bizarre as Richie Tenanbaum taking off his shoes and socks in the middle of a tennis match.
Here are the major events leading up to the putter helmet throw:
1) Brandon Jacobs was named the backup running back coming out of preseason despite being the featured back for the Giants over the past three seasons (2,933 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns in 29 games). He and Bradshaw shared the load in week 1, but Bradshaw was getting most of the carries against the Colts.
2) In the first half, Jacobs was flagged for a stupid personal foul penalty for a late hit. If he was already in head coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse, this undoubtedly put him in deeper.
3) Right before a 2nd down play on the Giants first possession after halftime, as Jacobs replaced Bradshaw, the announcers somewhat commended Jacobs for still having a great relationship with his one-time backup. After the snap, Jacobs took a handoff designed to go up the middle, but, instead, he decided to try and kick it outside a la Bradshaw the play before. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Jacobs isn’t really a nifty runner, so he was immediately met by an onslaught of Colts defenders, who brought him down for a no gain.
Naturally, the run prompted Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels to criticize Jacobs’ decision. Collinsworth started by saying, “He’s not Barry Sanders, he’s not Walter Payton,” and Al Michaels, knowing exactly where that pattern was going, finished with, “he’s not on Dancing With The Stars.” The two announcers astutely speculated that the run would be met with criticism from head coach Tom Coughlin, as well. On the next play, Eli Manning threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham and we were sent to the oblligatory post-PAT commercial break.
4) During the break, Jacobs got into a “profanity-laced discussion” with Tom Coughlin on the sidelines, supposedly about the aforementioned run.
When we got back, we saw this:
As it turns out, Jacobs went to angrily toss his helmet toward the bench, but the helmet got caught on his gloves and sailed about ten rows up into the seats. He immediately tried to get his helmet back, but it quickly escalated into a heated back-and-forth between him and the angry Colts fans. As you saw in the video clip, security then had to pry it from one of the stubborn fan’s cold, dead fingers.
Jacobs was yelled at by Coughlin, again, and did not play the rest of the game.
After the game, Brandon Jacobs explained what happened and apologized:
“I was a little mad, but to be honest with you, it was a mistake,” Jacobs said. “It got caught onto the sticky leather of my gloves.
“I did not mean to do that and everybody who knows me knows I did not mean to do something like that. The whole world could fall down on me and I wouldn’t have done anything like that.
“I apologize to Indy, first of all, and their fans, our organization. It’s just something that happened that shouldn’t have happened.”
Jacobs will most likely be fined for his actions and it’ll be interesting to see if he receives any other punishment. The NFL is pretty strict these days, but I’m not aware of any precedent on players chucking their helmets into the crowd. We could look at the consequences of Kyle Turley’s insane helmet toss in 2001, but that surprisingly received ZERO punishment from the old regime (he was fined $25,000 by the Saints organization). I’d be shocked if Goodell, with his no shenanigans policy, let’s this slide as merely a “mistake,” especially when the sport’s fans were put at risk here.