Shaan Washington’s hit on Mike Bercovici on Saturday night in the AAF opener went viral. Washington flattened Bercovici, sending the San Diego Fleet quarterback’s helmet flying, along with the football.
Bercovici, who was benched in the fourth quarter after throwing two interceptions, took one not only for the team but for the league as the highlight-reel sack brought publicity to the startup league.
“Hopefully that comes back my way years down the road, and maybe there’s a residual check for how much they ran that highlight,” Bercovici said, via Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union Tribune. “. . .Hey, whatever this league needs to get people excited. If that’s what it takes, then I’ll take the bullet.”
Washington’s hit did not draw a flag, and AAF head of operations, J.K. McKay, said on San Diego radio station 1360-AM this week that it was legal. Fleet coach Mike Martz disagrees.
“He led with the crown of his helmet,” Martz said of Washington. “You see him drop his helmet, his crown, and he went in with the crown of the helmet, and we all know you can’t do that.”
There is little doubt NFL officials would have penalized the hit, and the league would have fined Washington. Bercovici, for his part, has no problem with Washington’s hit, calling it “just football.”