Mark Sanchez was the pride of Mexican-Americans when he became the starter at USC in 2008 and led the Mighty Trojans to a 12–1 record. He won the Rose Bowl MVP in a triumph against Penn State before being drafted by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft as the fifth overall pick. 

Sanchez quickly became the latest toast of the town, impressing everyone in his first two seasons by leading the Jets to two consecutive AFC Championship games. His career began as successfully as any QB in history, and it appeared as if the Jets had a franchise quarterback to lead them over the next decade. 

Fast Forward to 2017 and the man formerly known as “Sanchize” is the answer to a Cheech and Chong football trivia game. He’s a journeyman QB holding a clipboard for the Chicago Bears, as he has done for four other teams since leaving the Jets in 2013, one year after the infamous “butt fumble”  - an unfortunate and unforgettable play that has come to define his NFL career. 

With Thanksgiving Day set to bring football junkies and families another day of NFL action, we turn back the clocks to Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012 and an anticipated AFC East rivalry game between the New York Jets and New England Patriots. Today is the 5-year anniversary of that unexpected, totally ridiculous, once-in-a-lifetime, career-defining mishap, which has erased the fond memories of Sanchez’s auspicious NFL beginning and relegated him to permanent meme status on social media. 

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Five years ago today, this: https://t.co/HiJUyBx520 https://t.co/HVoTlQky52

It was in front of a New York home crowd of 80,000 at MetLife Stadium and a primetime television audience of 20 million. When Sanchez took the snap, he had what he would later describe as a "mental error" and mistakenly turned to the left, where there was no one to receive the handoff. Trying to salvage the broken play, he scrambled forward towards the line of scrimmage and in an attempt to slide he collided with the butt of his teammate Brandon Moore. He got thrust backwards and  fumbled the rock, which was recovered by the Patriots' Steve Gregory and returned for a touchdown. It was something out of a Laurel and Hardy comedy football special. 

The play summed up the way the Jets franchise had quickly become a laughingstock under Rex Ryan and Sanchez after such a promising start. “The Butt Fumble” became a joke of all jokes in the NFL community for quite some time. With the age of the internet in full swing, the play went viral and was constant fodder for sports comedy shows. They even have legendary Madden tributes to the moment. 

Mark Sanchez Butt Fumble Tribute [Madden]

A tribute from GoodGameBro to Mark Sanchez using Madden NFL 25. Click "Show More" to connect with us on social media!

Adding to the fiasco is the fact that the Jets fumbled three times in a span of 52 seconds. A true example of how it takes less than a minute to go from god to goat in an NFL career. 

As we eat our Turkey and reminisce about the best and worst Thanksgiving moments in our lifetimes, Jets fans won’t ever have to search the far corners of their fading memories to remember the butt fumble, ranked as the most embarrassing moment in Jets history by ESPN.