Everyone who has competed in any competitive environment has a singular moment that is bright, gold, and shinier grander than the rest. Whether it’s springing a block to win a Junior Varsity football game, breaking past the wall on Hot Dog #13 in a 27 hot dog championship run, hitting a buzzer beater in a 47-26 loss, or making every red cup in overtime that summer night, everyone has one.
Cullen Gillaspia not only has a moment. He has THE moment. The seventh round fullback from Texas A&M, who was relegated to special teams as a pro with the Texans because no one likes fullbacks anymore, has a profound play that will stand glorious and strong above the sand, the spinning hands, and the clangs. He, not Darren Fells or Jordan Akins, was the one who pulled out wide and blocked a defensive back on Deshaun Watson’s life-altering zone read touchdown run against the Bills in the Texans’ memorable win over the Bills in the Wild Card round of the 2019 NFL Playoffs.
Did Gillaspia cut back across one defender, pop another five yards from the end zone, and trample through two more to score? No, he did not. But what he did was get in the way of the man who was cut back against. Solid. Vital. Glorious. Crucial. Gillaspia has his moment.
Cullen Gillaspia is now a free agent after being released by the Houston Texans.
A cynic would say Gillaspia was probably only drafted to sell t-shirts to those who participate in the maroon cult, the folks who sleep in a barn and eat only from chain restaurants. But Gillaspia was tough, smart, and dependable. He was the 12th Man. His draft day picture was a beautiful exultation.
He was so happy. A perfect photo opportunity. The perfect story.
You’ll probably never hear from Gillaspia in in the NFL again, but that isn’t a bad thing. Cullen Gillaspia has his moment, and it’s one almost no one can touch. Really, that’s all that matters.