By Ernie Palladino
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By now, any Jets fan worth his salt should have seen Brandon Marshall’s career-big brain flub Sunday against the Eagles.READ MORE: Police: 2 Wanted In Connection To Armed Robbery At Bronx Apartment
If they didn’t, they can always catch it on the Jets’ blooper film, a cinematic work which, in the vernacular of Hollywood, has turned from a one-reel short into a two-reel feature.
There was Marshall, clearly with no chance whatsoever of extending his second-quarter, 17-yard completion with a falling lateral to Jeff Cumberland (Jeff Cumberland, for goodness sake!) in the midst of a 24-17 disaster.
Boneheaded — his word.
“Worst play in NFL history,” Marshall said.
And that phrase, right there, marked his second major mistake of the day, or the third if one counts the fumble he didn’t lose in the first quarter.
That play wasn’t the worst in history. It wasn’t even the worst in the Metropolitan area.
Heck, it wasn’t even the worst in franchise history.
Not that Mark Sanchez and Joe Pisarcik would have minded Marshall erasing their names from the record book, but let’s face it: Their miscues were all-timers. Compared to them, Marshall’s was just the small-potatoes result of a guy trying to make a play for a team that went into the game without its second receiver (Eric Decker), it’s lead running back (Chris Ivory) and a quarterback near the end of a journeyman career.
He was just trying to get something going before the game got out of hand, and it didn’t work.READ MORE: Sanitation Worker Dies After Being Struck By Car In Brooklyn, Police Searching For Driver
If only Sanchez and Pisarcik could say the same.
Unfortunately, they’re stuck.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Sanchez not having a gasp or two of delight when he saw that ball fly off Cumberland’s face mask as he stood on the Eagles’ sideline as Sam Bradford’s backup. The thought of one of the best receivers in the game taking one of the Jets’ worst quarterbacks ever off the hook for one of history’s truly horrendous plays would have been too rich not to get excited.
But the butt fumble of Thanksgiving night in 2012 will stand forever as a symbol of Gang Green futility. The mere trappings of it planted it indelibly at the top of all-time flubs. There, before a primetime national audience against the Patriots, Sanchez tried to salvage a broken handoff and instead ran straight into guard Brandon Moore’s posterior, the ball coming loose. Safety Steve Gregory picked it up and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown.
Embarrassing? Humiliating? Scarring?
All of the above. Sanchez never got over it. Nor has the organization.
Marshall also proved deficient in his deep history of MetLife Stadium’s predecessor, Giants Stadium, where Pisarcik made arguably THE worst play in history. Simply called “The Fumble,” his Nov. 19, 1978 mistake brought new meaning to the word bonehead, with good reason.
Pisarcik needed only to take a knee and run out the clock on what should have been a 17-12 upset of the Eagles. There was no reason at all to risk a ball exchange of any kind, save for the center snap. Instead, Pisarcik ran a complicated reverse-pivot to Larry Csonka, fumbled, and saw it returned for a winning touchdown by Herm Edwards, a cornerback who eventually coached the Jets.
Offensive coordinator Bob Gibson lost his job the next morning. Head coach John McVay got the axe after the season. The fan base flew into absolute apoplexy.
Nobody is calling for Todd Bowles’ head — or even Marshall’s, for that matter — as the Jets prep for Miami in London. His mistake was a really, really bad one that came at a really, really bad time in an early-season game.
He hit a career-low with that one.
It goes on the blooper reel. But at the top?
The worst?MORE NEWS: Brooklyn Organizations Collecting Donations To Help People Of St. Vincent After Volcanic Eruption
Not even close.