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There are a select few plays in sports that go down in infamy and fans remember forever. The ball between Bill Buckner’s legs, the home run of Jose Canseco’s head, and Nick “Swaggy P” Young celebrating his three as the ball spins out are all classic examples. In the NFL, it’s Mark Sanchez’s “butt fumble” with the New York Jets and Dan Orlovsky running out of the back of the end zone for a Detroit Lions safety that lives in infamy.

These two retired NFL quarterbacks both had solid NFL careers and have become excellent analysts in recent years. Still, though, the butt fumble and safety follow them. Sanchez and Orlovsky’s blunders come up on any NFL blooper reel or when recapping their careers.

This could change after Week 3 of the 2022 NFL season. That was the day when Miami Dolphins punter Thomas Morstead replaced the butt fumble with the butt punt, and Jimmy Garoppolo pulled a Dan Orlovsky for a self-safety.

Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble becomes the butt punt

(L-R) Former New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez and the butt fumble; Former Detroit Lions QB Dan Orlvsky and the self-safety
(L-R) Mark Sanchez, Dan Orlovsky | Robert Sabo/NY Daily News via Getty Images;

The New York Jets and New England Patriots faced off on Thanksgiving night, 2012. Just five weeks earlier, the Jets took the Pats to overtime and barely lost a 29-26 game in Foxborough. Despite New York’s 4-6 record at the time, pundits thought Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, and company would give Tom Brady and Bill Belichick a tough time again.

That didn’t happen, though.

Already up 14-0 in the second quarter, Sanchez went to hand off to running back Lex Hilliard but turned the wrong way. After missing the exchange, the QB took off up the middle and ran directly into the backside of his right guard, Brian Moore.

Sanchez fumbled, and Patriots defensive back Steve Gregory took it the other way for a touchdown. The Jets lost the game 49-19, and the butt fumble was born.

A decade later, Week 3 brought us the butt punt from the Miami Dolphins. Up 21-17 over the Buffalo Bills with 1:47 left in the game, the ‘Phins had to punt from their own 1-yard line. Without his usual clearance from his line, punter Thomas Morstead tried a kick but booted it directly into the backside of his protector, Trent Sherfield.

The ball bounced off Sherfield and out of bounds for a safety, but the Dolphins held on for a 21-19 victory.

After the safety, Mark Sanchez tweeted, “Woah… stay out of my lane bro @thomasmorstead.

And with that, Sanchez was off the hook (or at least now has company) for the butt fumble.

Jimmy Garoppolo lets Dan Orlovsky off the hook 

Just hours after the butt punt, the San Francisco 49ers took on the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football.

Up 7-3 in the third quarter, 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo dropped back to pass on a 2nd-and-10 from his own 2-yard line. After faking a handoff, Jimmy G dropped back and dropped back (and kept dropping back) until he backed right out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

As the embarrassing play unfolded, NBC announcer Mike Tirico couldn’t help but exclaim, “remember, Dan Orlovsky did that!” And if you were watching football back in 2008, you absolutely remember Orlovsky’s safety.

In Week 6 of the Detroit Lions’ infamous 0-16 season, the Lions lost to the Minnesota Vikings 10-12 in Minnesota. That two-point difference was due to a bone-headed play by the Detroit QB.

Tied at zero in the dying moments of the first quarter, Orlovsky took a 3rd-and-10 snap from inside his own 1-yard line. With all-time great sack-master Jared Allen hot on his heels, Orlovsky ran right out of the back of the end zone for the safety.

After Garoppolo did the same Sunday night, the now-NFL analyst rejoiced on Twitter. As soon as the play happened, Orlovsky tweeted, “IVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER FFFFREEEEEDDDOOOMMMM.”


Mark Sanchez Feels Terrible for Jimmy Garoppolo Because He’s Been in the Exact Same Situation: ‘Bro, This Ain’t Easy, I Feel You on This One, Man’

And just like that, on the same day Mark Sanchez got company with the butt fumble, Dan Orlovsky welcomed Jimmy Garopollo to the self-safety club.

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