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That Did Not Look Athletic: Week 3, Falcons at Chargers

The Chargers and Falcons played a football game which featured more than a handful of plays that do not qualify as athletic.

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

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 as big of a loser as you thought you were because you punched at a tether-ball and fell down in front of a bunch of 3rd graders.

What a rough week. The black out made the continuation of this series difficult. I had to watch the replay of the Chargers game on a computer on Wednesday night. Let that sink in for a moment . . . I had to watch this game. There are few things more painful than watching a game in which you already know the disastrous result. Do you know what is more painful? A hyper-extended elbow. Did you see Dexter McCluster on Sunday? It was awful. I yelled at the TV when I saw it.

Here's the good thing about a hyper-extended elbow: it doesn't look un-athletic. Just real painful. Crap! I just clenched my teeth in pain watching that again -- I may have cracked a molar. Do NOT click that link.

There's no shame in hyper extending an elbow. But how 'bout a hyper-extended knee? Well that just looks stupid. I know because I've done it.

A hyper extended knee is an odd sensation. The knee buckles, and if you have any amount of speed built up, your body begins to catapult and your mass moves forward temporarily turning you into a flamingo. As the body elevates it instinctively realizes something isn't quite right and at that moment your body reacts as it should -- in a violent explosion as if a sniper on the grassy knoll just erased you from his PTK list*. You fall in a heap, clutch at your knee, and scream prayers to sweet Jesus that you didn't shred every ligament in your knee.

*PTK is an acronym for People To Kill. This list is similar to the one created by Steve Buscemi in the film Billy Madison.

Incidentally, I did not shred my knee. Just a strained ligament that recovered in about a month. I must be a goddamn athlete! These guys below? Not so much. Let's do it.

For an injured zebra calf (Falcons punter Matt Bosher) separated from the heard, the plains of the Serengeti (Jack Murphy Field) are perhaps the most unforgiving place on the planet. Enter, a hungry pride of lions out on the hunt (Corey Lynch and Darrell Stuckey), acting on instinct . . .


The best part of any game is kicker-fail. Those guys are on the same roster as everyone else but athletically speaking they aren't even in the same galaxy. God bless 'em. Punters are people too.


Don't be an Antoine Cason apologist. I don't care if this was a 3rd and 9 situation. The space he gives receivers on a regular basis cracks my soul. Antoine Cason is a soul-cracker.


So, after watching the game, I have to say this: Ryan Mathews is a beast. I hope the fumbling doesn't continue to be an issue because watching the guy run is a lot of fun. Back to the lack of athleticism. As the ball hits the turf observe the body language. It reads: helpless. There's nothing athletic about helplessness.


A Philip Rivers pass off the back foot. Not athletic.


Philip Rivers is a quarterback and as such, our expectations of him as a blocker should not exist. It was a good try. Whoooosh!


A beautiful bull rush by Antwan Barnes. That's a great sack. Look at the momentum as he drives him into the . . . oh wait . . . yup, that's Shaun Phillips . . . providing a marginal assist. Nice job, Antwan. Wait . . .


Man, Shaun Phillips is a damn sack-dance vulture. Phillips' celebration however, begs the question: Is his bowling schtick the least athletic sack dance in NFL history*? I want to see Vaughn Martin get a sack, sit down, and pretend like he's playing chess. I heard he's a really smart guy so that's how I envision him celebrating. Make it happen, big man. Make it happen.

*I don't care who it's a tribute to, so just save it. He didn't even get credit for a 1/2 sack.


Dominique Franks chases down Ryan Mathews in the open field. Athletic.

Ryan Mathews gains yardage and evades a headhunting hit by Dunta Robinson. Athletic.

Dunta Robinson absolutely tattoos his teammate, Dominique Franks. Not athletic.

Great hit though.


Averaging less than 2.5 yards/carry, all the talk surrounding Michael Turner entering week three was whether or not he had lost a step. Well I don't know if he's lost a step but man did he embarrass Antoine Cason right there. Reminds me of the time a Fijian sidestepped me in the open field in 2004. Very much the opposite of athletic.

I hope you feel better than Dexter McCluster's elbow and are fresher than Antoine Cason's jock strap which I'm pretty sure has taken up permanent residence on the 23 yard line.

All the best in Week 4 brothers and sisters.

The "That Did Not Look Athletic" Archives

Week 1, Week 2