The "butt-fumble" is now fourth in the New York Jets' 2012 lexicon, right behind "Tebow," "Fireman Ed," and whatever goofy thing Rex Ryan is saying these days. Mark Sanchez's fumble in the New England Patriots' 49-19 Thanksgiving evening drubbing of the Jets has become a YouTube sensation, and meme all its own, because Sanchez bumped into the butt of guard Brandon Moore before he let go of the ball.
In one play, the Jets summarized their season, because Sanchez was thinking of another play when he went the wrong way on a handoff, Pats defensive tackle Vince Wilfork bulled Moore into the backfield, and there it was. Butt, meet face. Defensive back Steve Gregory returned the fumble for a touchdown, part of a 21-point run that New England put together in less than a full game-clock minute.
"I just can't tell you what's going on in Mark's mind when he admits to having thought of another play when he turned out the wrong way," former Jets quarterback (and current Jets critic) Joe Namath said on New York radio. "Are they giving him too much to think about at this stage? I don't know where his head is, man."
Actually, we did know where Sanchez's head was. And Moore, the protagonist on that play, is really sick of talking about it. He's even more displeased with NBC's Cris Collinsworth, who described the play in explicit detail during the "Thursday Night Football" broadcast.
"Oh my gosh, Vince Wilfork just threw Brandon Moore into Mark Sanchez," Collinsworth said during the telecast. "I have never seen this before in my life. Watch this, Vince Wilfork is going to throw Brandon Moore back into his quarterback, [and Sanchez is] going to fumble the football. This is what Reggie White used to do, forklift them and just lift them off the ground. Mark Sanchez [is] not expecting it, and it was the back side of Brandon Moore that knocked the ball out."
Moore had a few words for Collinsworth this week.
"The Collinsworth guy, I've never been a big fan of his," Moore said on Monday. "To portray it that way and to see it on TV, somebody slides into the back of you, that play happens a lot. ... I didn't know what was going on until after the game. During the game, I didn't know, and good thing I didn't know.
"Just as a commentator, I don't particularly care for him. That's just as a fan watching the games in general. ... I don't need to get into [specifics]. He's ... whatever."
It's certainly understandable that Moore's peeved about the attention this play is getting, but does this really happen a lot? A guard gets grown-manned into his own backfield and causes his quarterback, who is thinking of the wrong play, to lose the football? Maybe in Pee Wee league, but we tend to expect more of NFL players.
At least, we tend to expect more of most NFL players. The Jets have put us on notice for the truly bizarre.