The way I look at it...there's certain things that are always funny. Someone falling down, someone passing gas...or someone unexpectedly getting hit "where it counts". Of course, it's only funny if it's not happening to you, and it's made ten times worse, when thousands of people are watching.

That's what happened to UNI defensive back Omar Brown during a Missouri Valley Conference football game at Western Illinois on Saturday. The Panthers won the "turf war" by a score of 34-20, but Brown lost the "battle" (so to speak). Brown (#24) was on the punt return the play finished, Brown was starting to leave the field, when the referee threw a flag directly at Brown, that let's just say "hit the target" so hard it dropped Brown to his knees. Thankfully, after recovering, he was able to "walk it off". (see video below)

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In the video, Brown commented on the embarrassing situation during the postgame press conference (with credit to KWWL's Mark Woodley) "I thought the play was over, I was gonna head back to the sidelines, and all of a sudden I something yellow, Oh, it hurt so bad...I came back on the sidelines and everybody was just laughin' what are the odds of that happening?"

This reminds me of a similar not-so-funny incident that happened to another football player named Brown. In 1999, Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Orlando Brown was accidentally hit in the right eye by a penalty flag weighted with ball bearings thrown by a referee. Brown ended up suffering some temporary vision loss, and that injury effectively ended his NFL career.

One thing that may have made UNI's Brown feel better, was his blocked field goal that he returned 62 yards for a touchdown to help contribute to the victory over the Leathernecks. UNI is 3-3 during this shortened spring season, and next travel to South Dakota Friday night to battle the Coyotes and hopefully no more wayward penalty flags that are launched like an out of control missile.

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