One of my favorite things this offseason came when video surfaced from a celebrity golf tournament. Packers LB AJ Hawk was videotaped drilling a guy into a lake, a vicious tackle in what looked like a casual two-hand-touch game. It was hilarious… and a little strange.
Today, before a practice round of the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe, I talked with Hawk about it. No, it wasn’t quite like it seemed. Turns out, the dude actually asked for it.
Well, allow Hawk to explain. But first, I had to broach the topic. “So, A.J… you seen that video of yourself hitting that guy?“
“Oh, I’ve seen that,” Hawk told me this morning, laughing. “The golf one? Oh yeah… that thing kinda blew up. That was the last time I golfed, actually, a few weeks ago.”
Um, what happened?
“It was a charity golf event up in Youngstown and at the end, they have a dinner and auction and stuff,” Hawk explained. “The guy that was running the auction, I knew him, and he wanted to raise some more money. So that was his auction item (the touch football game). He paid good money to have (it). My buddy Doug Datish, who played center at Ohio State, snapped the ball to Troy Smith, and Troy Smith threw the ball to him. Then I tackled him into the water. The dude paid — the guy’s name is Bill — he paid good money to have that happen. It was originally supposed to be a normal, I was just supposed to tackle him into the grass.”
“And then he came up to me before and said, ‘Hey, just knock me into the water,’ ” Hawk said. “So, I saw everyone with their cameras out, I knew it was going to get out. I didn’t know it’d be as big as it did. It was fun. I don’t regret it.“
Hawk does have one regret.
“The only thing I regret is, I wish I would’ve – I told my wife when I got home – I wish I would’ve wrapped him up and tackled him into the water,” Hawk said. “That would’ve been awesome. But the water wasn’t that deep, so that might’ve been bad, head first into there. But it was fun, that guy was a great sport. We took a picture afterwards and he only lived about a minute away so he could walk home and change.“
I can’t lie. I’m slightly disappointed it was all planned. I bet I’m not alone.
“Everyone thinks I just took advantage of a guy and knocked him in,” he continued, “but it was all set up, believe me. It was fun.“