There was a scary moment in the Pittsburgh-Baltimore NFL game on Sunday when Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph was knocked out when he was hit by Ravens safety Earl Thomas. Rudolph appeared to be knocked cold immediately, then his head bounced off the turf when he fell to the ground.
So, in this era of player safety and concussion protocols, the Steelers training staff strapped him to a backboard and carried him off the field, right? I mean, he was knocked out, so you want to take every precaution, right?
After the trainers examined Rudolph, the cart was there, ready to drive him off the field. Instead, Rudolph stood up and slowly walked off the field with the assistance of two people.
The reason? According to reports, the cart had run out of gas. It had to be pushed off the field.
How does this happen in this day and age? Who’s the guy in charge of making sure the cart used to transport injured players off the field has enough gas?
Rudolph was diagnosed with a concussion (you think?) and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Let’s hope the hospital doesn’t make him walk around because their wheelchairs aren’t working.
Key to the day
Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden is having a tough season. His team fell to 0-4 after losing to the New England Patriots, 33-7, on Sunday. Gruden was already atop most lists of “coaches expected to be fired soon” and Sunday’s loss won’t help matters.
In the postgame news conference, Gruden was asked if he had any thoughts at all about so many people predicting he will be fired. His response was classic:
“If the key works Monday, I’ll keep working.”
Time to chop this
The Atlanta Braves are known for their annoying, borderline racist (key angry emails now) “tomahawk chop,” in which fans are given foam tomahawks or use their arms and sing along to a war chant. The chant has been criticized by many people in the Native American community who feel it is out of place and disrespectful. One of those who feel that way is St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley, whose mother is full-blooded Cherokee. Helsley and the Cardinals are playing the Braves in the NLDS.
After Games 1 and 2 of the series were played in Atlanta, with the tomahawk chop out in full force, Helsey said, “It kind of devalues our Cherokee heritage and the Native-American history. Us as Cherokee native people went through a lot in this country.”
The Braves issued a statement in response that said “We will continue to evaluate how we activate elements of our brand, as well as the in-game experience, and look forward to a continued dialogue with those in the Native American community once the season comes to an end.”
That sounds amazingly like “We are saying this now to take the heat off a bit and hope that everyone forgets when the season ends.” Because it’s not like this is the first time the chop has been criticized.
Your favorite sports moment
What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Email me at email@example.com and tell me what it is and why and it could appear in a future daily sports newsletter or Morning Briefing.
This moment comes from Nancy Wolfe of Long Beach:
“It was January 1, 1976. My father had UCLA season tickets and was lucky enough to score two Rose Bowl tickets to see UCLA vs. Ohio State on New Year’s Day. It would be Woody Hayes’ final Rose Bowl appearance as coach of the Buckeyes and we were sitting among a UCLA football record crowd of 105,464 screaming fans.
I had attended many UCLA games at the Coliseum growing up and would attend many more at the Rose Bowl in the future, but this game was truly the most memorable. Kate Smith sang an unforgettable rendition of “God Bless America” at halftime, accompanied by the UCLA marching band. Two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin was leading the undefeated Buckeyes, but the gutty Bruins were keeping it close. With less than five minutes to play, UCLA’s quarterback, John Sciarra, handed the ball off to Wendell Tyler, who scampered 54 yards down the sideline to seal the 23-10 Bruin victory!
My father and I were jumping up and down and in a moment of pure joy, my dad gave me a huge bear hug! It was the only time in my life that my dad ever hugged me! Sad as that may seem, it became that one moment that defined our love and respect for each other and made the next 28 years even more special between us until his death in 2004.