Everyone knows that there have been some dumb actions on NFL football fields throughout the years.
Marshall scooped the ball up, saw an open field in front of him, and was so exited that he did not have the time to stop and think about which direction he was facing.
Honestly, its kind of surprising this kind of thing has not happened more than once.
In the thick of battle, in the fog of war, it can be difficult to have an accurate compass in your head at all times.
Usually, if a defender sees a football rolling around the ground, instinct takes over and the hard wired course of action is to simply pick the ball up and run like hell at the open field in front of you.
A defensive lineman would understandably assume that the open field in front of him is the opposing end zone, because 99 percent of the time, if a ball is fumbled in the backfield, that is exactly what the defensive lineman is looking at.
Marshall is not alone, however.
Leon Lett, DeSean Jackson, and others have contributed to the NFL book of follies.
But none of those plays, none of them approach the utter ludicrousness of what I witnessed this past Sunday.
The 49ers made history against the Falcons this past Sunday. But instead of talking about that particular circus show as a whole, I would rather focus on one particular clown's, one particular act. An act, that made at least one 49er fan, go apoplectic with confusion.
Many players in the NFL like to put on a good show.
They like to give their fans something memorable; and heck, why not spice it up a bit while you're at it?
Deion Sanders was one of the greatest examples of this type of showmanship.
He danced and pranced his way into the Hall of Fame. He talked the talk and walked the walk.
He invented the “high step.” You know, like a pony.
It worked like this: First, you intercept the football. Second, you make sure there is plenty of open field in between you and the end zone. Third, you run as fast as you can, until you are sure (very important) you will score a touchdown. Finally, you start to lift your feet higher in the air with each step as you prance into the end zone.
Deion sometimes put his hand to the side of his head while doing the pony impersonation (a pony ear?). Anything for more flare and dare.
But why, Deion?
Because Deion Sanders COULD.
He could get away with it. He was one of the few players in NFL history who had the raw athleticism to run so far away from pursuers, that he didn't need to run full speed all the way.
Instead of simply slowing down to prove this point, what better way to show the world the first rate thoroughbred you are aside from walking like one in the middle of a live NFL play?
Like I said before, Deion could do it. He had the ability. He was fast enough to pull it off.
However, for every dancing pony, there are at least two jackasses.
Many NFL players have copied Deion Sanders over the years.
Many have copied his high stepping into the end zone because that turns out to be one of the nicest looking showboating moves in football.
Others have copied, but none have truly reproduced the splendid thing that was Deion's original high step.
Some just do the high step. Some try and copy the way Deion put his hand to his helmet. Some try both.
Rarely, some actually look good doing it, like Deion did.
Even more rarely, some try and pull it off from 40+ yards away from the end zone.
You see, the longer you do the pony dance the better. It means you needed that much less of the field running full speed to accomplish your touchdown run.
Deion tried it a few times in his career. But even for him it was hard.
High stepping for 40+ yards is a tremendous risk. You had better have amazing speed, or have somehow gotten 20 yards ahead of your pursuers.
Running away from the worlds top athletes is hard enough. Running away from them while dancing? Wow. Running away from them while dancing for 40+ yards. Unbelievable.
Running away from them while dancing for 75+ yards? wszzsxwwszzzsccxx. That was supposed to be the sound of a record player screeching to a halt.
Not even the greatest defensive back of all-time, not even he could pull something like that off.
Well guess what Jim Marshall?
Last Sunday was your lucky day. The weight of holding the title of the No. 1 NFL stupid play of all-time is off your shoulders. Don't get me wrong, you might still be No. 1 as a “folly.” But the stupidity of what you did has finally been topped.
It was ironically produced by the same team you had played so many years ago. Not only that, but it took place on their field, again.
“Dre is gonna be Dre”
For every 1,000 jackasses, there is one mentally retarded mule.
Dre why? Why did you do it? What was going on “up there?”
You intercepted the ball around the 20 yard line, started to pull away down the side line and then...and then...
You tried to break Deion's record. No, you tried to smash his record.
You tried to run like a wounded pony 70 yards into the end zone.
Ok fine, you didn't WANT to look like a wounded pony, it's just that this is what you DID look like while sticking your hand to your head, high stepping, and within the first 15 yards, spilled to the ground from behind by the pursuer who was running full speed chasing you.
Did you think you would outrun them in your half-human state?
Did you think they didn't see you intercept the ball?
Did you think they would give up on the play and watch you high step for 70 yards into the end zone as a tear slowly ran down their cheek?
What possible explanation could there be?
There could not have been confusion as to how much farther you had to run.
What on Gods green Earth were you doing?
After the game, your explanation was, “Dre is gonna be Dre.”
Perhaps temporary insanity? What do you plead?
Immediately after the game, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary did not seem to understand a reporters question.
Singletary was asked about Dre Bly's showboating. Singletary replied that he had not seen any showboating, he simply saw a player who did “not take care of the football.”
After he said this, I knew that the Monday film room was not going to produce a prancing pony, nor jackass, nor mule, but rather a cow. Singletary was going to give birth to a baby cow on Monday morning, thus completing the cycle.
From pony, to jackass, to mule and then cow. Enough to make Old McDonald proud. Well, proud of everything except for the mule.
Dre Bly looked like he wanted to gallop away on Monday afternoon.
Obviously, Mike Singletary had seen film of he game, and now, not surprisingly, Dre Bly was in front of the local media apologizing for his glorious attempt at a 70 yard wounded pony touchdown celebration.
The likes of which the NFL has never seen before; both for the temporary insanity as well as the guilty plea.
Has a player ever apologized during a Monday afternoon head coach press conference?
Has a player ever tried to gallop 70 yards into the end zone at 70 percent speed?
The obliteration of the 49ers at the hands of the Falcons was tempered with the obliteration of reason during Dre Bly's heinous gallop.
There's nothing like soapy, odd tasting confusion to water down a spicy hot, frustrating, historic loss on your home field.
Wrapping my mind around the bizarre, historically dumberest decision Dre Bly made on the field 70 yards away from the end zone, has almost served as a sleeping pill to my frustration with the 49ers hideous loss.
Jim Marshall, your historic play may be more entertaining, whimsical and still dumber, but rest assured, your play is no longer, in any way shape or form, dumberest.