Hopefully you remember the play. If not you can find it on youtube by searching for “Larry Allen Prevents Pick Six.” As you watch it the stark contrast of media and athlete watching the same play is a perfect backdrop to the point. In my opinion there is not and never has been a better play by play football announcer than Al Michaels. As the play unfolds and throughout the video he reports the action. However, how do the two Hall of Fame players providing color commentary with Michaels, Dan Dierdof and Frank Gifford react? As you listen to these two greats you will hear their utter amazement at the feat they had just witnessed.
Larry Allen did not see Conner pick off the ball. Conner has a head start and a shorter distance to run. He also was about seventy five pounds lighter than Larry Allen. Larry Allen ran him down and brought him down short of the goal line by sixteen yards. That means in fifty four yards he ran down a moving man from a dead stop. Dan Dierdorf was right, it was one of the most impressive feats you will ever see.
Impressive feats defined Larry Allen. He is the first and only NFL player to ever bench press 700 pounds. You can find that video on youtube as well. Yes, there are three guys spotting him on that lift. It’s necessary because that much weight would kill anyone instantly if his arms gave out. The big man still put that weight to his chest and then pushed it up without them lifting it. It was this strength that fueled his legend.
Warren Sapp is highly regarded as the best three technique Defensive Tackle in History. On Saturday as the Hall of Famers joined Chris Rose on the stage Sapp was almost speechless when it came time to describe the quiet monster that is Larry Allen. When a guy is someone who is going to push you there is a phrase that players say often. “Bring your lunch pail.” In other words, get ready to work. Of Larry Allen, Sapp said “You had to bring four lunch pails to face him.” Sapp didn’t always think that.