Imagine watching something for the first time and immediately believing that you are an expert at it. Oh right, we don't have to fantasize what that would feel like because Twitter exists: One of the many websites that houses trillions of experts in every field.
Last week, a Twitter account called @NFL_Memes shared a context-less clip of Rams practice with a zoom in on Aaron Donald putting his hand around the neck of undrafted free agent defensive lineman Elijah Garcia and pushing him back in a jerking motion.
Aaron Donald’s new workout is something else pic.twitter.com/sy55QEyRDW— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) July 30, 2022
Now you're you, and you have never done football practice, and you have never watched football practice, and you watch this clip. It would be bad news if you didn't know what this was and had to go .00001 seconds without knowing anything about a specific situation and had to admit ignorance.
Luckily, there is no bad news anymore. Only good news because after all, you are an expert at everything, even things you don't know anything about. 2022: You don't know what you know. And you don't know everything!
But I have some bad news out there for the experts who knew that what they were watching on NFL_Memes was a case of "bullying," "hazing," and Donald being "the dirtiest player in the NFL."
It's a goddamn football drill. You know...in football practice?
As explained here by college head coach Ed Orgeron, the "power scoot" is a drill that teaches defensive linemen how to reach their hand to the sternum of the offensive lineman, then is followed up by a drop step to get around the player blocking him:
Orgeron jokingly demonstrates how the hand can also slide up to the neck:
Aaron Donald is doing a power scoot drill in practice and it was even evident in the video shared on NFL_Memes that the rest of the defensive line group was lined up behind Donald waiting for their turn to do the exact same thing--sometimes to Aaron Donald, I'm sure.
Here it is in game:
In game demonstration of the power scoot shown in the drill below.pic.twitter.com/pk0e4bJ70G https://t.co/RmfFvaxtJ9— Coach Urgelles (@coach_u87) July 31, 2022
But that's not what the experts saw:
"This looks like gross, bullying behavior. The undrafted kid does NOT look like he's enjoying this."
This looks like gross, bullying behavior. The undrafted kid does NOT look like he's enjoying this. Given Donald's history, it's an even worse look.— Baseball Pods (@baseballpods) August 1, 2022
Will any of the @RamsNFL beat reporters ask Donald what the hell this was? @JourdanRodrigue @LATimesklein https://t.co/ViKougBeyO
"Dude had no choice but to participate."
Yeah, it's called practice.
Dude had no choice but to participate https://t.co/Eunbs4zAve— Black Marlins Man (@ampaveli) July 31, 2022
Yo wtf is this lol rookie hazing https://t.co/FZJHMAksCB— El Capitan (Chris) The Fins Tail Gate (@thefinstailgate) July 31, 2022
"He's a dirty player that is praised by the media."
He’s a dirty player that is praised by the media— Jesse (@domainlamon) July 30, 2022
"How he's able to get away w/ something like this on the field while other players get penalized for small stuff like dancing on the end zone I'm still trying to understand."
If players want to dance "on the end zone" after practice or as a drill they are instructed to do, which would be fun, then that would be fine.
How he’s able to get away w/ something like this on the field while other players get penalized for small stuff like dancing on the end zone I’m still trying to understand. I hope Rams struggle a lot this season & given how SB winners get cursed after a victory it could happen— ❤️ (@FangirlOfDWTS) July 31, 2022
"Rook, come here!!!"
“Rook, come here!!!”— CP3-oh! (@zekecee) July 30, 2022
"This does not look like a fun drill for # 69 lmao"
Joe Beldner only writes about fantasy football, so can't blame him for misunderstanding real football.
This does not look like a fun drill for # 69 lmao pic.twitter.com/TTlGTnJ0EZ— Joe Beldner (@JoeBeldner) July 30, 2022
BroBible, a website that sounds about as legitimate as NFL_Memes, had the same take and refused to do any research.
It's interesting how fans of other teams seem to think that Aaron Donald is "getting away" with being a dirty player, even though this is the second time in a year that Donald has literally been falsely accused of assaulting somebody.
Aaron Donald can't even get away with the things that he didn't do, how does he have time to get away with things that he did do?
Update: It seems that even more stupid people are emerging since I posted this article.
Including Larry Brown Sports, the New York Post, and VladTV. Gray Papke of Larry Brown Sports actually wrote this:
Donald has found himself in hot water with the league at times for pulling choke moves during games. Maybe this is all part of practicing that for the intimidation factor.
Miguel Costa of VladTV actually wrote this:
The act itself resembled somewhat of a chokehold, where Donald could be seen shoving Garcia’s neck back and forth. From the looks of things, this process occurred repeatedly. There’s no word on whether or not this was a legit practice drill, where Donald was trying to teach Garcia the ropes or some form of rookie hazing, but because of the current stature of both individuals involved, it’s highly unlikely that Garcia would ever complain about it, given the fact that he’s simply trying to earn a job in the NFL.
No, the word is all over the internet. Do research.