The Washington Post

Ravens scout survives bird attack, gets to watch Johnny Manziel

(Ian Langsdon/EPA)

Joe Hortiz, the Baltimore Ravens’ director of college scouting, was merely trying to drive from Waco, Tex., to College Station in March to check out Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans. What he encountered was a Hitchcock film in horrifying real life.

Take it away,

About 45 minutes outside College Station, the home of Texas A&M, Joe noticed some “large birds” in his driving lane. “That part of Texas, the speed limit is 75, and I was doing all of that. I moved to the left lane as I got close to these three vultures eating some roadkill. As I got close, the one smart buzzard flew right. The dumb ones took off left.”

Joe was on the speaker phone with Ravens coaching executive assistant/football information manager Megan McLaughlin at the time. “Joe yelled ‘Oh my God,’ and then kept repeating that,” McLaughlin explained. “I kept asking Joe if he was OK, and I was really worried. I had heard a thump, and Joe was just repeating ‘Oh my God.’ I wondered if I should call the police.”

“I remember seeing the full bird right in front of me, and I ducked, felt this thing hit my arm and focused on keeping the wheels straight. Glass was everywhere. It was like an explosion. When I opened my eyes, I expected to find a giant turkey buzzard in my lap. Turns out what had hit my arm was the light console from right behind the window. The bird didn’t come all the way through the windshield, but the force of the hit burst the inside of the window,” Hortiz said.

After trying and failing to get a new rental car, Hortiz “leaned left and right and drove [for 45 minutes] to the workout,” where he did get to see Manziel and Evans work out.

Seriously, click on the link above to see the damage done to the windshield. There are feathers. All to see two players who are not expected to be around with the Ravens pick 17th.

[H/T: Jimmy Traina/Fox Sports]

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



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