The Alliance of American Football’s debut this weekend was a hit — at least for one of the game’s stars.
San Diego Fleet quarterback Mike Bercovici had his helmet fly off and, eventually, had to be removed from the game after a brutal first quarter hammering from San Antonio Commanders linebacker Shaan Washington.
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Bercovici remained in the game until the third quarter but was eventually replaced by Philip Nelson.
The hit earned Washington — and the league itself — praise across social media.
“If the Alliance is still a successful league five years from now, they should build a statue to Shaan Washington, waking football fans up with this hit,” former sports writer Tim Roberts tweeted.
Hall of Fame tight end and current FOX Sports commentator Shannon Sharpe also appeared to be surprised with the big hit laid on Bercovici.
“This would have been a $500,000 fine, ejection, house arrest and death penalty in the NFL,” another social media user wrote.
Bercovici had spent time on the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers practice squads before joining the Fleet before the AAF’s inaugural season. He was 15-of-25 for 176 yards and was sacked six times before exiting the game.
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Adding insult to injury, however, Bercovici lost his job after playing piñata in the Fleet’s 15-6 loss. Head coach Mike Martz announced after the game Nelson would be the starter for Week 2.