Even though the play did not count because of off-setting penalties, Green Bay Packers fans will not forget how punter Tim Masthay stood like a brick wall and took down Golden Tate. It was a small play in a preseason game that meant nothing. However, it was still enough for fans to get some sort of satisfaction after being wronged by a replacement referee last year.
The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver/return man is public enemy No. 1 in Green Bay after his incorrectly called touchdown won the game for the Seahawks in Week 3 last season. The Packers fans would have forgiven Tate if he had admitted, like everyone else did, that he did not legally score the touchdown. However, he had to stick by his opinion all offseason and even taunt fans on Twitter this past week.
What made the play by Masthay that much sweeter was the fact that Tate seemed to enjoy getting booed by the Packer faithful. He could be seen smiling and nodding his head slightly as he looked around Lambeau Field prior to the punt.
“Sometimes I can tune it out,” Tate said, according to ESPN.com. “But I think being booed is a sign of respect. If they are going to waste energy on booing you, obviously they know about you.”
Tate received the punt and exploded out of a cannon down the field. He broke through tackles and out-ran a majority of the players on the gridiron. Most punters would have given a half-hearted effort, but Masthay stood his ground and made the play like a champ.
The fact that he was ran into on the punt, which was one of two penalties on the play, makes it that much more impressive. The other penalty was unnecessary roughness, which was recorded by Packers cornerback Lloyce Means.
Still, it is nice to know Green Bay has one of the best punters in the league who is not afraid to back down from a challenge.