Football season has started and how excited are you?! As season openers ripple throughout the league, the writing’s on the wall: If the world really does end this year, it’ll still be the best damn football season ever. Whether you’re watching on your juicy satellite connection or a store-bought antenna, God help you if you’re missing any of this raucous action. Andrew Luck is doing his best to restore the storied Colts franchise to its previous glory. Meanwhile, ex-paternalis Peyton Manning is playing his steady hand in a new uniform but with that old, familiar touch. The glory of football is truly something to behold and it can be eclipsed only by one thing: the hilarity of bloopers. Here are the top five fumbles, miscues, gaffes and miscalculations to ever take place on the rugged 100.
Dancing with the… kickers?
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Dancing with the Wolves? No. Dancing with the Stars? No. We’re dancing with NFL kickers Martin and Bill Gramatica. Yes, they were brothers and when they scored they went wild to the delight of their fans and the chagrin of the opposition. After years of prancing and celebrating the younger of the two, Bill, takes it a step too far. He danced his way to a knee injury in 2001 in the Meadowlands.
What? Pole vault? Wrong sport!
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Houston Texans’ backup quarterback Sage Rosenfel goes head over heels for a first down. On a dash from the Indianapolis 41-yard line, he tucked the ball for a quarterback scramble. As he closed in on the first down, he met three Colt defenders at the 31-yard line and took flight. Needless to say, he was nailed in mid-air, lost the ball and the Colts run the ball back for a 71-yard touchdown. The sad part about this one: the Texans were minutes away from a rare win over Indy.
The first Holy Roller in football
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The Holy Roller, also known as the Immaculate Deception by fans of the San Diego Chargers, came with a botched pass, a loose ball kicked down field and a push and tuck into the end zone by the 1978 Oakland Raiders. This was a rule changer in football history. Oakland, trailing 20-14, lined up with Ken Stabler at the helm on the Chargers 14-yard line. At the snap, Stabler finds himself threatened by a sack from Chargers’ line backer Woodrow Lowe. Stabler fumbled. Raider running back Peter Banaszak reached to recover the ball but couldn’t hold it and scooped it to tight end Dave Casper. Casper bobbled the ball, dropped it, mistakenly kicked it into the end zone and picked it up for a touchdown. The final result: Oakland 21, San Diego 20.
Leon Lett — on 2
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Leon Lett, an essential part of the legendary Dallas Cowboys’ defensive line of the 1990s, shoulders two heavy hitters of his own on the bloopers chart. Perhaps one of the greatest gaffes in football history would be his game-losing fall on the ball as the clock ticked to zero in the 1993 Thanksgiving classic against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins, trying to remedy a one-point deficit, had driven the Cowboys’ defense back the Dallas 41-yard line (easy field goal range for Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich). The Dallas defense had blocked the kick attempt and essentially regained possession and won the game — essentially. As the deflected ball bounces closer to the Dallas end zone, Lett decides to dive for it but loses it. The ball is ruled live and the Dolphins recover at the one-yard line. The Dolphins boot it for three easy points and win by one.
But before that…
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Lett’s other less-painful gaffe occurred months earlier in 1993 during Super Bowl XXVII. He recovered a fumble caused by teammate Jim Jeffcoat and strides down the field for six points. However, he begins to celebrate, not in the end zone, but at the 10-yard line. Little did he know Buffalo’s fastest player of the 1992-1993 season, wide receiver Don Beebe, was hot on his heels. A split second before Lett crossed the goal line with the ball, arm extended in celebration, Beebe knocked it out of his hand for a touchback; Bills ball on the 20. Although Beebe’s play was representative of the Bills hustle and toughness throughout the game, they would go on to be routed by the Cowboys by a score of 52-17.
Catch these blunders and more at the Bleacher Report. Don’t miss another blooper or make a blooper of your own by attempting to capture the NFL and collegiate season without lining up in the right network formation. Were there any bloopers that you thought should be on the list? Let us know in the comments!