Remember the Butt Fumble, and its lesser known sequel Butt Fumble 2? Those incidents were bad and embarrassing, but I'm here to tell you that the dark days of butt infamy are over—butts have regained their nobility in the NFL. My friends, I give you the Butt Sack:
The NFL tried to pretend Khalil Mack sacked Aaron Rogers with his "back," but we all know this is just polite talk. (And even though they were wrong, they missed out on a good headline: "Mack Sacks Pack With Back.") The truth is, that's a butt sack, and it displayed both power and grace. Not since Charles Barkley have I seen a butt this athletic and efficient.
"Mack Sacks Pack With Crack Attack."
I'm so sorry.
The Mascot Not to F*** With of the Week: The Chicago Blackhawk
Here's what happens when you mess with Tommy Hawk:
This seems to be an old-fashioned donnybrook straight out of Slapshot—nobody was arrested, nobody even seems to know who the guy was, and in the end it will go down as a mascot-on-civilian ass-kicking for the ages. Even more impressive: As far as I could tell, Tommy Hawk stuck to the mascot code and didn't say a single word during the entire fight. A true hero among humans dressed as giant birds.
The "Holy Shit, I'm Getting Old" Sports Moment of the Week: Los Angeles Football
I grew up with my stepfather routinely referring to the Indianapolis Colts as "Baltimore," (even before the Baltimore Ravens existed) and I routinely mocked him for this slip-up. The Colts moved in 1984, and for him to still be calling them "Baltimore" a decade, then two decades, and now three decades later, is objectively hilarious. He's super old.
But my merriment got nipped in the bud when I checked the standings this week, and saw that the two of the best teams in football are the Chargers and Rams. "Ah," I thought, "good for San Diego and St. Louis." A fine thought, except for the fact that these teams are not located in San Diego and St. Louis. They are both located in Los Angeles.
Now, I "knew" that, just like my stepfather knew that the Colts played in Indianapolis when he really thought about it. But I only "knew" it after the initial instinct had passed, and I'm 100% positive that this initial instinct is going to stick with me forever and lead to public embarrassment at least a dozen times. There will never be another day in my life when I don't hear the names "Chargers" and "Rams" and immediately think of San Diego and St. Louis. It's ingrained, my brain has lost all its flexibility, and one day young people will make fun of me for this. These are the only two teams like that in the NFL (the Tennessee Titans snuck in under the wire before my brain went into old mode), but there will be more, and thank God the Charlotte Hornets gave up the Bobcats nickname, or that would haunt me too. As for the soon-to-exist Las Vegas Raiders? I will never, ever stop calling them Oakland. Just give me my social security check, AARP card, and angry half-informed opinions now.
The Locker Room Poison of the Week: Jahvon Quinerly, Villanova
So, Villanova has a freshman named Jahvon Quinerly, and he only played one minute against in a 78-75 loss to Penn. Afterward, on Instagram, he wrote: "Was my 2nd choice for a reason." He deleted it, and then posted some stupid and meaningless apology that someone else clearly wrote for him, but obviously those steps did absolutely nothing to stop the story from spreading. Quinerly was a big deal, and originally recruited to Arizona before that program blew up, and clearly he has not had a great time under Jay Wright even before that IG story.
But here's the thing: Villanova has won two of the last three championships! Jay Wright is the hottest commodity in the game right now, and his team is on a very short list of true powerhouses (Duke, UNC, Kentucky, and Kansas, and that's it). How did Quinerly think this was going to go? How did he think some unknown freshman would fare in a PR battle against the proven best coach in the sport? That's like a third-string punter ranting about Bill Belichick's incompetence.
I'm starting to think that the true measure of an athlete's stupidity-slash-poison factor is when they challenge people they really shouldn't challenge. I'm calling it the Patrick Reed Factor, since he seems to constantly pick fights with people who are infinitely more popular than him. But it's not quite as bad with Reed, since he plays an individual sport. For Quinerly? He basically just told the entire world that he's not worth the trouble.
If you want a longer read on Quinerly, Rob Dauster has you covered:
Stupidly Heartwarming Story of the Week: Charles Barkley and the Cat Litter Scientist
If you're anywhere near sports Twitter, you've probably already seen this, but if not, just read it. There is almost literally nothing heartwarming about the year 2018, and when writers try to force heartwarming down my throat, my gut reaction is to respond like the rest of my generation, with mockery and cynicism. Then, once in a while, there's a story so cool and so well-done that it breaks down even my defenses. This is one of those stories, and I'm not going to say anything more because you deserve to read it with a clean slate. But suffice it to say, Charles Barkley is far more than just a delivery vehicle for one of history's most noble sports butts.
(Again, so sorry.)