It's difficult to remember the play, considering it was the first game of the season, but do you remember the very last play of Game 1 in 2008? Chris Samuels got beat by Mathias Kiwanuka and appeared to either dive or fall on the back of Kiwanuka's ankle, nearly injuring him in the process. In the aftermath, Kiwanuka declared the play dirty.
Despite what I said above and the fact that it's been three months, Kiwanuka himself has not forgotten the play. He is also making sure everyone knows that he's not going to go out and pick a fight or play dirty himself:
"That was the last image I had, the last play, the last image I had for the whole game, so, yeah, it will be in the back of my mind, but I am not going to do anything stupid."
"You don't want to focus on it? No. There are so many other things," Kiwanuka said. "I think you use it as a motivating factor and past that you just let it go."
A refreshing stance, to say the least. Too often in football, guys get caught up in some chest-pounding act of pride, where the individual battle becomes more important than the game as a whole. The game within the game, cliche-speak says, develops and players lose focus on the ultimate goal of winning the football game. It sounds like Kiwanuka has forgiven, but not forgotten.
Will he use some of that memory to torch Samuels for a multiple sack game? We'll see Sunday, but you know he's going to be focused.
Revenge for Mathias Kiwanuka Against Chris Samuels Will Be Clean and Legal originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Fri, 28 Nov 2008 17:16:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.