New Bedford Man Goes Viral Thanks to Failed Football Tackle on ESPN
A New Bedford man is going viral thanks to ESPN, but not exactly for a top play.
Meet Wayne Oliver, a 30-something North End resident whose failed attempt at a tackle and a pair of nearly-broken ankles landed him a spot on ESPN's "Turkey Bowl Top Plays." While defending his buddy Ben Melo in the red zone, Oliver "ran like the wind blows" (cue the Forrest Gump theme) to catch up but was short-changed on the one-yard line and received the juke of the century.
It's safe to say that Oliver's embarrassment is now the nation's entertainment, but thankfully it was all for a good cause.
Oliver and his friend Sean Côté are the official organizers of a touch football league that began six years ago and is now an annual tradition, a tradition that landed Oliver the third spot on the countdown. Ouch.
"It started as just for fun until a buddy of ours, Pat Claflin, got injured while playing golf and was out of work, so we used the football game to raise money for him," Oliver said. "The next year, another friend's sister was diagnosed with cancer so we raised for breast cancer awareness. It's been an ongoing effort to help local people who could use a helping hand."
This year, Oliver and Côté raised over $1,000 for autism awareness, a cause that hits home for some players on the field.Monday Night Countdown.
"The construction worker always gets beat by the gym teacher," Oliver said. "That's just the way it is."
Better luck next year, Oliver, and perhaps tape up those ankles as a precaution.
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