We've all had those co-workers we can't stand, but most folks' problems with co-workers generally stop with them stealing lunches from the company fridge or snitching on office supply kleptomania. Former Detroit Lions quarterback Scott Mitchell has more cause than most to complain about his co-workers, because one of them actually wanted him to get knocked out of the game...and, apparently, succeeded.
Lomas Brown, a former Lions lineman, was tasked with protecting quarterback Scott Mitchell. But the seven-time Pro Bowler confessed recently to Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo that when it came to Mitchell, well, he might not have put forth his best effort on every snap. In fact, he'd send a message to his own quarterback in a way only an offensive lineman could:
"Know how I did it? Just let the [defensive] guy hit him," Brown said. "Just let the D-lineman get a shot on him. I'd make it look good. I had some actor in me."
Brown gave some more vivid, if not completely accurate, details as regards Mitchell: "We were playing Green Bay in Milwaukee. We were getting beat, 24-3, at that time and he just stunk up the place. He's throwing interceptions, just everything. So I looked at Kevin Glover, our All-Pro center and I said, 'Glove, that is it.' I said, 'I'm getting him out the game.' ... So I got the gator arms on the guy at the last minute, he got around me, he hit Scott Mitchell, he did something to his finger ... and he came out the game. Dave Krieg came in the game. We ended up losing that game, 27-24."
USA Today notes that the game, Nov. 6, 1994, actually had a slightly different score: Detroit was down 24-0 when Green Bay's Sean Jones broke Mitchell's hand on a hit. Mitchell had completed just five of 15 passes and thrown two interceptions. Krieg came in, threw three touchdowns, but the Lions lost 38-30. Krieg would lead the Lions to the playoffs, where they'd fall to the Packers in the wild-card round.
Now, lest there be any miscommunication here, Brown reiterated that he said what he meant, and meant what he said: “"I've been out of the game since '02. I don't think much can happen to me. Yes, America, yes, I did it."
Quarterbacks, a memo: do NOT make your offensive linemen unhappy. They can wreck your life in a way nobody else can.