Thanksgiving NFL football games are a long-standing and highly-anticipated aspect of holiday celebrations in America.
The food is poppin’. Family is abundant and we tend to see the darndest things happen in these games and at the crib.
Five Thanksgiving's ago, Mark Sanchez immortalized himself in the annals of NFL comical and career-defining moments. He also helped add to the legacy of crazy sh*t that happens on Thanksgiving on and off the field; from Uncle Fred’s never-ending rendition of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” after his sixth Henney and Coke, to Leon Lett’s brain freeze in the snow on Turkey Day in 1993.
Nov, 22, 2012 is a moment Jet fans want to forget, but will only grow in despicable myth as the years pass and the franchise continues to struggle.
The actual game was bad enough as arch-rival New England thoroughly lambasted the Jets 49-19. An easily forgettable one for both teams until it took on a life and personality of its own.
Jets QB Mark Sanchez ran square into his own teammate’s buttocks, loses the football, and then sprawls out on the ground in disbelief, disgust and dejection as a Patriots player scoops it up and runs the other way.
From that moment on, the play became known as “The Butt Fumble.” That one gaffe erased all of the goodwill Sanchez had acquired with Jets fans as a result of his back-to-back AFC Championship appearances in prior years.
If it happened in an unimportant regular season game against a non-division rival, in the midst of a great season, then maybe the incident may have faded to black by now.
However, it was representative of the Jets' miserable 6-10 season. The Jets were in a bad place as an organization. Rex Ryan's sideshow popularity was dwindling, the media was relentless and the fans saw Sanchez's face hitting Brandon Moore's butt as the last straw in a Gang Green circus that was out of control. It was the last and lingering stop in Sanchez’s roller coaster NY stint and started his career as a journeyman.
Sanchez was replaced by Geno Smith at QB in 2013. Sanchez appeared in 0 games and by 2014 he was with Philadelphia, starting just 13 games in two seasons.
Sanchez is currently buried as a backup for the Dallas Cowboys. As he stands on the sidelines this Thanksgiving keeping the clipboard warm for Dak Prescott and Tony Romo, he undoubtedly will be reminiscing on the play he never recovered from and the ridicule he’s endured ever since. His own ex-teammates even get a chuckle out of it every now and then.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Butt Fumble will always be remembered as a “classic” and extremely entertaining NFL Thanksgiving moment for everyone but Mark Sanchez.