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That Did Not Look Athletic: Week 5 (SD vs. OAK)

A late start on Sunday evening, coupled with a terrible showing from the Bolts, forced fans into a critical decision at halftime: go to bed miserable or stay-up and be miserable. If you went to sleep you missed this week's edition of . . . TDNLA!

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

That Did Not Look Athletic is a weekly series that examines some of the least athletic plays from 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.

Last week's game between the Chargers and Raiders was an unholy abomination. It was, however, not without special meaning for this lad. You see, the match-up between old AFC West foes was like celebrating the birth of a child.

During Week 1 of the 2012 season, Marcel Reece pitched the ball off the dome of his teammate Taiwan Jones and at that moment, That Did Not Look Athletic was born. On that momentous evening, once the afterbirth was wiped away, I knew we had a BFTB series with some real staying power. Week 5 of the 2013 season represented more than just a match-up to keep out of the AFC West cellar: it was about birth rites.

Last week I begged for a reader submission and finally one of you delivered. Let's dig in:

Growing up in the 80s/90s in the northeastern United States, one of my favorite games to play on the schoolyard was called "Kill the man with the ball". Creative name, I know. The rules of the game were as such:

1. There is only allowed to be one ball. The ball can be of any size or shape.
2. Everyone not holding the ball should attempt to tackle (or kill) the person holding the ball

I believe the goal of the game was for the athletic kids to show off how much more athletic they were than the rest of us. When they would get the ball, it was like watching Barry Sanders dance around defenders for a solid five minutes before getting tired and throwing a 60 yard pass to nobody.

One of the times that this happened, I was about 30 yards away from the athletic kid when the ball was launched. I saw my chance for glory. I was going to catch the ball. I flipped on the afterburners and left torch marks in the grass as I went after the ball, only realizing at the last second that I wasn't going to make it on speed alone. My instincts kicked in, and I laid out to make a beautiful diving catch. Unfortunately, I also knocked the wind out of myself....which made it difficult in trying to explain to a group of kids that they should stop kicking me and forming a dog-pile on top of me. I eventually let go of the ball, letting it harmlessly roll away before someone else picked it up, so that I could try to catch my breath in relative peace.

An athletic, un-athletic, moment.

Kill The Man With The Ball, eh? We called it something else in my day but that is neither here nor there - this is about catharsis. I bet our unknown friend feels better after getting that off his chest. Maybe he'll take it to the next level and step out from the shadows, announcing his name with pride. Until that moment happens . . . it's time for TDNLA!


Eric Weddle

Poor Eric Weddle finds himself worked to the bone each week because the talent around him lacks . . . what's the word - ah, yes, talent!

This particular play never took place - well, it never counted, I should say. Raiders' wide receiver, Denarius Moore, pushed off of Richard Marshall early in the second half and, in the process of CHEATING, he accidentally stepped out of bounds and then returned to the field of play to make the catch. The subsequent touchdown was called back upon review.

Back to the play . . .

Did Richard Marshall look un-athletic? Sure he did. But this week's TDNLA isn't about Richard Marshall. Week 5 is all about Eric Weddle . . .


Classic sniper fire incurred by our fine free safety. I'm just glad he's OK.

H/T to Nick Shepherd for the TDNLA recommendation, Mr. Anonymous for sharing a personal anecdote, and to Crean, who always succeeds at making my brainwaves GIFilicious.

Have an un-athletic story you want to share for next week’s TDNLA? E-mail me at


@AvengingJM contributes regularly during the season and relies heavily on humor as a coping mechanism. Bront Bird completes him.