Super Bowl streaker was definitely down before the goal line, says ex-QB who sacked him
TAMPA, Fla. - With five minutes left before the end of Super Bowl LV, something on the field caught the eye of Hillsborough Sheriff's Office Deputy Clinton Stearns.
"I couldn’t see very well. I could hear the crowd yelling and screaming. I did observe the security chasing him," Deputy Stearns recalled.
A streaker in a pink thong bodysuit was on the field -- and he was gaining yards.
"He was able to get away from a couple of them," said Stearns.
Deputy Stearns' Sergeant gave him the signal to run the streaker down.
"Halfway through, I did have doubts of missing him, going so fast with all my gear on," Stearns said.
But just at the Chiefs’ end zone, Stearns made the tackle.
The streaker is tackled by Deputy Clinton Stearns after running on the field during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LV. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
"It worked out perfect where I was still able to tackle him and go on the way," he said.
The impressive hit caught the attention of law enforcement agencies and even football stars across the Bay Area.
While Rob Gronkowski said the streaker scored, Deputy Stearns said he was down at the goal line.
"He did not. Some people say he did, some people said I laid with my head. I definitely think he was short," he said.
Deputy Stearns is no stranger to the game.
"I can think back all the times of my coaches, Mike McEnany forms of tackling, it kind of went through and it went off perfect," he said.
Deputy Stearns grew up playing football in Plant City. He took a football camp with Mike Alstott and played quarter back for Plant City High.
Before he was a deputy, Stearns played quarterback at Plant City High School.
"I went on to pursue college dreams at the University of South Florida -- go Bulls! From there I walked on; it didn’t work out. That’s when I started doing ride-alongs," he said.
While he wears a different uniform now, Deputy Stearns is considered a hero both on and off the field.
"People I haven’t talked to in 20 years are calling me," he chuckled. "It’s pretty cool, it brought the world together and is bringing a positive to the policing world."