There’s no question that football releases passions. Games are events where communities come together, where bragging rights are earned, where hard work and striving for a common goal reflect some of our most cherished American beliefs.
In a story first reported by the Duluth News Tribune, sometimes those passions cause well-meaning players to, well, lose their heads.
Brad Reuter is a senior captain for the St. Cloud Cathedral football team who feels those passions right down to his bones. The Crusaders have had a tough fall, going winless through the season’s first six games, losing often by lopsided scores.
Zimmerman held a 26-point lead in the game’s final minute when running back Camerin Morey burst through the Cathedral defense and saw nothing but greenspace in front of him on the way to the end zone.
What he didn’t expect was to encounter Reuter, who was not on the field at the time but was standing on the sideline, watching another dagger thrust into the heart of his team. Unable to stand it any longer, Reuter raced out onto the field, pulling Morey before he could reach the end zone.
Shades of the infamous “12th Man tackle” from the 1954 Cotton Bowl, when Alabama’s Tommy Lewis stepped off the sideline, onto the field of play and tackled Rice running back Dicky Moegle, who was running for a long touchdown.
Morey was awarded the touchdown (as was Moegle), capping a 53-20 Zimmerman victory. And Reuter had some explaining to do.
The next day, Reuter took to Twitter to issue an apology, calling his tackle “the result of not thinking” and saying it was the result of “passion, emotion and frustration.” He went on to say “I respect and love the game of football and I’m sorry I broke the integrity of the game.”
Here’s his entire Twitter apology:
On Sunday, the St. Cloud Cathedral football Twitter account responded, saying “we respect Brad’s apology and we will move on.”