That Did Not Look Athletic: Week 15, Panthers at Chargers

USA TODAY Sports

The woeful Panthers came to town and stomped the Chargers last Sunday. Nobody saw it. So did it really happen? Let's see . . .

That Did Not Look Athletic is a weekly series where we look at some of the least athletic plays during the previous week's Chargers game. This series is meant to give us a few laughs by showing that even the best athletes in the world have their moments of shame. It's also a reminder that you aren't a complete loser just because you punched at a tether-ball and fell down in front of a bunch of 3rd graders.

In 2005 I went to Charlotte, North Carolina to play rugby. The Charlotte club had a great set-up. Right next to the pitch they constructed a two story clubhouse complete with a sun-deck. The sun-deck jutted out from the structure and gave the feel that it was almost hanging out over the field. The illusion it created was one that the home side's fans were hovering over you -- watching every move, catching every word.

If you have ever watched rugby you know that the kickoffs work a little differently than in the NFL. Generally the kick only goes about 10 yards but extremely high -- a jump ball of sorts. My job was to catch that high kick and retain possession. So . . .

On the opening kickoff I positioned myself along the touch line (side line) near the over hanging sun-deck. The drop kick sailed, and positioning myself perfectly, I jumped into an oncoming throng of human traffic. As I reached the apex* of my jump, I caught the ball, and got absolutely smashed. I retained possession but it didn't matter, as the opposition is not allowed to take you out while in the air. I slowly got to my knees and with the little breath left inside me I pleaded with my teammates to take their time kicking the penalty. I was damaged. I knew it. And the fans hanging out above me knew it. I could hear the Charlotte fans saying to one another, "I totally bet he pooped in his pants when he took that hit."**

Un-athletic? Not really. Did I feel un-athletic? Yes. Why? We were playing in North Carolina home of the Carolina Panthers who at the time were coached by John Fox. John Fox was at this game, on the sideline, as a guest of my rugby coach who had coached Fox in high school football. I can only imagine Fox thinking, "If there were real athletes out here I totally bet he would have pooped in his pants when he took that hit."

Ahtletic and un-athletic! Let's go . . .

Shaunmj_medium

Shaun Phillips made a nice play here and he let us all know by breaking out some Michael Jackson. It would have been so much better had he went with one glove instead of two. I will miss Shaun Phillips' self-importance when he's gone.

Sdg2_medium

I hate that PR has been the subject of so many TDNLA moments this year. Here's to 2013 when PR is still part of the weekly feature but it's funny because the Chargers are winning.

Fireaj_medium

That cynical S.O.B.! He's not going anywhere. AJ Smith is ours . . . FOREVER!

Drink you soda and shut-up, San Diego.

I have exciting news. The game won't be blacked out on Sunday because it's in New York. And the Jets are horrific. I shall begin lobbying for a larger allotment of GIF time for next week's TDNLA.


*Apex might be a strong word to describe the height I reached.

** Actually, I didn't hear anybody say this. But I would have said it. To this day I don't know how just a little bit didn't squirt its way out 4 seconds into that particular game.


The "That Did Not Look Athletic" Archives

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4

First Quarter of Season Playoffs

Week 5, Week 6

Bye Week Suggestions and First Quarter Playoff Results

Bye Week: Jets and Pats

Legal hiatus . . . sorry

Week 13, Week 14

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