NFL Monday Night Football was played on October 3, some teams took the field, they scored some points, people cheered, blah blah blah. Forget that, though—the story of the night was a streaker carrying a pink flare running around the field at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California, juking and jiving and generally making the security guards look like fools.
That’s when two LA Rams players decided they’d had enough. Six-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner and outside LB Takk McKinley took matters into their own hands, using expert form and technique to smash the offender to the turf. It’s a much-watch video for fans of expert tackling:
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 4, 2022
Wagner is a former member of the Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Doom secondary, which was famous for its thunderous hits as it helped take the neon green to a Super Bowl in 2014. He proves he’s got plenty of boom left as he wiped out the animal activist who illegally took to the field. After the game, he said simply:
He looked like he wasn’t supposed to be on the field. I saw security was having a little problem – so I helped him out.
The network televising the game, ESPN, declined to show the action, but ESPN2’s Manningcast, featuring former Super Bowl-winning quarterback siblings Peyton and Eli Manning, was more than happy to air the footage. The brothers hold a simulcast of Monday Night Football where they take a more humorous, less-formal approach to broadcasting, and they were impressed. Said former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos legend Peyton as he watched the takedown:
YES! That’s what we’re talking about! Wagner, a veteran. Right, get him down, now get out and let these guys take over.
Manningcast commentary on streaker getting lit up by Bobby Wagner pic.twitter.com/f8yRAeYjYI
— Gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 4, 2022
The Mannings brought up the episode again later in the show. “How would you tackle a streaker?” Eli asked. “You think you go high or you go low? Depending on what he’s wearing?”
“Like I said, that guy was a half streaker,” Peyton answered. “That guy had all his clothes on. There, you just take him wherever. If he’s totally naked, there’s certain places you can’t take him. … You don’t wrap up.”
Good to know.
An animal rights group called Direct Action Everywhere took responsibility for the stunt, saying they wanted to call attention to the plight of whistleblowers who are facing prison time for exposing farm abuses.
The game itself was kind of a bore (yes yes, I know, Niners fans, it was the greatest game ever, QB Jimmy Garoppolo was beyond magnificent, yada yada. We heard you. The Bears beat you Week 1; remember that). ‘Frisco eventually held on to a 24-9 victory over the Rams largely due to a stellar defensive effort. The most exciting play of the night that didn’t involve a streaker was this incredible catch and run by the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel:
DEEBO SAMUEL OMG 🤯
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 4, 2022
Both teams are now at 2-2. Although the episode is somewhat humorous, and some of us like to see lawbreakers get their just due, it’s also dangerous when streakers take to the field. No one knows their intent—are they a threat to the players or the fans? The publicity-seeker in this case experienced no serious injuries, and only had a slight burn on his arm which presumably came from the flare.
Luckily all is well that ends well, and the hit laid down on this half-streaker will surely become the stuff of legend.