Originally written on The Penalty Flag  |  Last updated 11/20/14

Imagine yourself a defensive end in 1996, actually, imagine yourself Pat Swilling, the Oakland Raiders starting right defensive end on opening day of the 1996 NFL season. You’ve been in the league 10 seasons, been to five Pro Bowl’s, you’ve had a good run, but you know you’re on the down side of your career. You’re just trying to finish out the rest of it without getting hurt too badly or to lose the respect of the coaches and fans. Imagine what Mr. Swilling thought that first game in 1996, in Baltimore, when the sun first went behind a gigantic object that settled itself across the line of scrimmage from him. When Swilling looked up and saw what some would later call a brick wall and prompted one of the greatest defensive players of the modern age, Michael Strahan, to say “He’s a laugher!… You see him, you think to yourself this guy is not mean enough to handle the mean guys out there in the NFL. Jonathan would rip your limbs off, and he’d smile…and wave your arm in front of you.” Pat Swilling that day, had the unfortunate luck of facing Jonathan Ogden on his first day as a member of the Ravens, all 6’9” 345 pounds of him.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mark Cuban will play the President in 'Sharknado 3'

Five most exciting one-bid conference tournaments

Report: Redskins interested in Ndamukong Suh

Report: Darrelle Revis likely to hit free agent market

Le'Veon Bell could face up to a four-game suspension

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Giants place franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

Vikings GM: Team has spoken with Adrian Peterson

Yu Darvish on notion he quit on Rangers: ‘That’s BS‘

Tiger Woods' agent refutes drug suspension claim

Bryce Harper says he needs to ‘step up’ this season

Report: Chiefs place franchise tag on Justin Houston

Nik Stauskas wears Michigan State gear after lost bet

Bret Bielema takes away player's car after DUI

NHL player traded after daughter's heartbreaking letter

Curt Schilling unloads on Twitter trolls again

Pirates Corey Hart cut his foot getting into a whirlpool

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter, jabs Clemson

Michael Jordan makes his first Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young rips ESPN anchor over Iggy Azalea insult

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

Could Holly Holm be a worthy challenger for Ronda Rousey?

Gronk spikes Lombardi Trophy cake on his bro's head

In defense of Geno Smith

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Report: Broncos to franchise Demaryius

James Harden kicks LeBron in groin

Lynch: 'I was expecting the ball'

Report: Rangers get Yandle from Coyotes

Harbaugh respects Madonna's grit

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.