Every once in a while you tune into an NFL play that seems more like a slapstick comedy show than a sports program. These plays may cause you to roll your eyes or yell at the television, but hopefully in the end, they evoke laughter. Here are the top five hilariously bizarre NFL plays.
Hilarious Play #5
Kicking the list off at number five is a classic from 1964: Jim Marshall’s embarrassing “wrong way” sprint, courtesy of Ipwn’s YouTube channel. Watch as Jim Marshall, a defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings, scoops up a fumble only to return it 66 yards for a…safety? “Jim Marshall is running the wrong way!” has become one of the classic NFL follies lines. The cherry on top? Marshall tosses the ball out of the end zone in celebration, utterly unaware of his mistake.
Hilarious Play #4
At #4 ranks another unforgettable blunder: Leon Lett’s Thanksgiving touch, from CatchTheTaste’s YouTube channel. In a 1993 Cowboys/Dolphins showdown, it came down to one play. Needing a field goal to win the game, Miami sends on Pete Stoyanovich to kick the game-winning three points. The kick is blocked and the play appears seemingly favorable for Dallas. All Dallas has to do is not touch the football and they win the game. If there is one unlucky, snake-bitten NFL player, it is Leon Lett (Lett had a touchdown slip away from him in the 1993 Super Bowl). Well on this particular play, Lett’s karma caught up to him as he came out of nowhere to touch the ball after it was blocked, making it Dallas’s ball for a brief moment. But the ball is live and a Dolphin recovered it inside the 5 yard line which meant Miami had another chance. Stoyanovich redeemed himself and connected to give the Dolphins their Turkey Day victory, 16-14. This play begs the question, why did Leon Lett ever touch the football?
Hilarious Play #3
Next up is Dan Connolly’s 71 yard kick return from nickpainn’s channel on YouTube. It’s basically common knowledge that anytime a fat man runs with the ball in his hands, the result is satisfying. You can just tell that Connolly, a guard for the Patriots, doesn’t expect to go anywhere as he covers the ball with both arms and ducks his head. Once he realizes he miraculously hasn’t been tackled, he takes off down the sideline before finally being dragged down inside the 5 yard line. This play is funny the whole way through.
Hilarious Play #2
These next two plays really live up to the “bizarre” part of this list. At #2 is the Colt’s confusing attempt at a trick play during the 2015 season from the NFL YouTube channel. Every player shifts in motion somewhere. There’s a wide receiver ready to take the snap from a center who is surrounded by no other Colts. There’s another player off to the right about 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage all by himself. Every other player is bunched up next to one another way off to the right. None of them are on the line of scrimmage, which as the referee will inform you, is a penalty. The ball is snapped to the receiver and he is swallowed by multiple Patriot defenders in a heartbeat. No one else on the Colts even moves. Hilarious? To an extent. Bizarre? Completely.
Hilarious Play #1
Lastly, coming in at number one is the infamous special teams trick play disaster permanently ingrained in every Redskins fan’s mind. The Redskins are down 0-24 against the Giants on a Monday night game. Head coach Jim Zorn sends his field goal unit out in what is an obvious trick play formation. New York’s defense adjusts, forcing Zorn to call a timeout. When time resumes, the Redskins line up again in the same formation. Punter Hunter Smith takes the snap, immediately under pressure, and lobs the ball up in the air to no clear Redskin receiver in the vicinity. The pass is picked off and run back by Bruce Johnson before he is run out of bounds. Pathetic, sad, and mind-boggling sum up this hilariously bizarre NFL play.