124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

A little the left...

Kirk Cousins trying to snap it from his right guard is the butt fumble for our modern times

November 29, 2021

Let’s set the stage: 9:09 to go in regulation. The Vikings trail the 49ers 34-26 and face a critical fourth-and-goal from the three-and-a-half yard line. Play clock at 10, 9, 8, 7. Quarterback Kirk Cousins rushes to the line, directing traffic. Frantically motioning to the right side of the field, Cousins jams his hands under center, ready for the snap. The only problem? It wasn’t his center. There was no snap.

We gotta say, in all our years of mindlessly consuming football weekend in, weekend out, this is a first. You see guys line up in the wrong spot all the time. You see snaps soaring over quarterbacks' heads mid-audible. Sh*t happens. But we’ve never seen a professional signal caller misidentity the ham hocks of his center-most hog molly. It just doesn’t happen, and if you think Cousins is surprised when he claps for the ball and no ball arrives, just imagine being right guard Oli Udoh.

Lest you think this was some elaborate fake-spike ruse to draw the 49ers offsides or a new-fangled version of the wildcat plucked from the pages of the late Tony Sparano's playbook, Cousins himself admitted after the game that it wasn't. It was just a plain old mistake.

After the emergency timeout, Cousins would airmail it out of the back of the end zone, giving the ball back to the 49ers, who would hold on to win 34-26. In the end, however, no one will remember the final score anymore than they remember the result of the Butt Fumble game. This is about one man lining up under the wrong man. It always has been. It always will be. Niners-Vikes, Week 12, 2021. Remember where you were.