Welcome, everybody, to Week 59 of THIS WEEK IN GIFs. We've now reached the stage on the calendar at which football mistakes are actually meaningful. In fact, five of our seven GIFs this week involve some manner of football personality committing or suffering a terrible accident.
Voting, as always, will remain open until Sunday at 11 p.m. Eastern. Enjoy!
After this happened, Cris Collinsworth -- one of my favorite color commentators in sports -- said that players should be coached to do what Barry Sanders did, and simply nonchalantly hand the ball to an official after scoring a touchdown. The "act like you've been there" aesthetic is certainly swagger in its own right.
As stunt-shaming is concerned, I'm a reactionary contrarian, because I think it's terribly dangerous to send the message that ball-carriers shouldn't act a fool. Even so, I'm the owner of a particular life experience that reins me in on this matter.
One day, my dad volunteered in my second-grade class and stuck around for recess, functioning as all-time quarterback in the brief pickup game we always played. He didn't want to show favoritism, so he only threw me one ball, but it was a bomb -- probably only 20 yards in real-world distance, but somewhere around 250 yards in our collective eight-year-old dimension.
I caught it, turned, and ran. Right before I crossed the end zone, I spiked the ball, and every single kid on that mangy yellow-brown grass was immediately quick to point it out. My dad laughed along with them. Holy hell. Never, ever, ever again.
I don't want to leave the subject of Barry Sanders, Humble Champion entirely without also recalling the time Howie Long said the only football cards he would allow his son to collect were Barry Sanders cards. Being Howie Long's child must have been a terrible experience.
This is the only baseball offering of the week. It's not that we've never seen this, it's that we ought to gawk at it more often. That ball drops from the shoulders to the shins, and it does so at roughly 80 miles per hour. This is like a trick shot in billiards, but instead of gaining English off the felt or other balls, it uses THE SKY. It's the only phenomenon in sports I can think of that requires modern physics to properly explain.
VILLANOVA FAKE PUNT
This is a fun one to watch over and over. The length of the GIF, the misdirection of the camera, and the general weirdness of the play required me to view it 10 times before I fully understood where No. 22 was and what he was doing.
He takes the snap, then meta-snaps it to the punter, who hands off to the acting running back. Except the meta-snap is actually a FAKE meta-snap, and everything going on in the Eastern Theater of this GIF is a cruel façade. Brilliant execution of a play they can probably only use once, ever.
I looked it up. According to Pro-Football-Reference and College-Football-Reference both, there are no other instances of a football player named Brynden. This is Brynden Prime, and he has fouled up something horrible.
One of football's cruelest ironies is that the inexperienced young players tend to get kicked to the special teams unit, where they have to play the most disorienting football there is. You play offense and defense in the same play, you block without the guidance of any kind of line of scrimmage, and you often have to run in one direction while looking in another. "Yeah ... let's have the rookies do this shit." It's amazing.
Anyone can give a tennis ball a hang time of five seconds if they really want to, but Andy Murray might be the only one in the history of Earth to ever do that and actually win the point. He even spends a couple seconds catching his breath, just sort of chillin'. It's like a cartoon.
Thanks to the chyron at the bottom, the story's all here. I'm not throwing shade, because administering a football team means juggling 30 things in the air at the same time, but there are far, far too many mistakes that result from a complete inability to count to four.
If I ran an NFL team, or a college team that could afford it, I'd hire a guy whose sole job it is to remember which down it is and perform clock-management arithmetic. Also, I don't even really like to smoke, but he would be the weed guy.
The laws of physics are firm and absolute, unless you try to say something nice about UCLA football. Then they're like "pffft f*** this dude" and they slap you out your chair.
And if you're looking for more sports GIFs, be sure to check out: