NFL: The Tennessee Titans' fake punt at the 2009 Hall of Fame Game was a work of art

Tennessee Titans fake punt play

The Tennessee Titans pulled off one of the all-time great fake punts during the 2009 Hall of Fame Game against the Buffalo Bills. 

Tonight sees the NFL play the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a building that every American Football fan needs to visit at least once in their lifetime. Many view this as the official start of the season, as it sees the first game of preseason take place and really gives the feel that the NFL is back.

Hall of Fame weekend is a few days worth of activities and trips down memory lane as some of the great players of the past are honoured and inducted into the hall, with tonight’s game seeing the Las Vegas Raiders take on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Raiders are here as they celebrate the careers of former players Cliff Branch and Richard Seymour, whilst the Jaguars have the pleasure of seeing Tony Boselli, the team’s first-ever draft pick back in 1995, get his gold jacket.

Even though this is the most prestigious preseason game on offer, as is the case with most others that will be played in August, there is a high chance that you won’t see the full lineup of players on display. Just as an example, two of the Jaguars’ offensive weapons Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne won’t be suiting up for the game.

But just because it doesn’t have the feel of a real regular season game, doesn’t mean that there can’t be some excitement brought to the table, as the Tennessee Titans showed when they played the Buffalo Bills back in 2009.  

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Pulling out all the stops

When you’re on a standalone stage like the Hall of Fame game, you had better bring everything you have in order to impress not just your coaches as you try to find a spot on the roster, but a national audience as well.

And there isn’t anything more impressive than the perfect fake punt that leaves everybody fooled, even some of the cameramen. 

The Titans, who were donning their Houston Oilers jerseys for the game, faked as if safety Michael Griffin was going to take the ball on an end around, only for punter A. J. Trapasso to switch the ball between his hands and put on the afterburners to run all the way for a touchdown:

Sadly this wasn’t enough for Trapasso to earn himself a spot on the roster as he didn’t make it out of preseason camp with the Titans and never actually played in a real NFL game as he spent a lot of time bouncing around the league on various practice squads. 

Another real shame about this is that it is such an expertly executed fake play, and they kept it for a preseason game. Just imagine how much more hyped people would have been if they’d have pulled this off in the regular season? Let’s hope for some similar fireworks and great plays tonight.

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