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That Did Not Look Athletic: Week 1 (SD vs. HOU)

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.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

As Monday night’s game against the Texans twisted to a painful end I sat on my couch in deep reverie. My mind carried me to a strange place - it carried me to Marlon Brando. Yes, that’s what I said – Marlon Brando. I thought of Brando’s violent death as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now and his final words: The horror. Is there any other way to describe a Chargers game like this one?

In 1979, as Kurtz, Brando looked like someone who could still cause havoc - he looked athletic. There was a power to his physique. But the 1980s and 90s would not be as kind to the actor. He became, simply put, un-athletic.

It was not Brando as Colonel Kurtz whispering "The horror," into my damaged mind, however. Instead, Brando uttered the iconic words as the character Max from 2001’s The Score with Robert Deniro. And as you might recall, at this point in Brando’s life, he waddled. It is a truly un-athletic state of affairs when mankind begins to waddle but that is in fact why Brando was chosen to appear to me. He was telling me . . . it’s time for "TDNLA: 2013", you damn fool! Get to work!

I apologize for publishing this post so late in the week as I know you all wanted to move on from Monday’s horror but technical difficulties could not be helped. Moving forward I’ll look to post on Tuesday’s. Are you amenable to these terms? Fantastic.

Honorable Mentions

Let’s begin with those who didn’t quite make the cut. The NFL only allows a small amount of video usage so the honorable mentions get nothing more than a still photo.

Philp Rivers

I love Philip Rivers but make no mistake about it – he’s the favorite each week to take home TDNLA honors. Take this play for instance:


It starts off well enough.


But then he looks over his left shoulder...


And then he looked over his right shoulder. Philip Rivers was genuinely worried about JJ Watt, and for good reason. Phil was so preoccupied he was nearly beheaded as he slid out of bounds.

This play would have made a phenomenal GIF and if you hate me because it didn't make the cut I completely understand.

Danny Woodhead

Good God! Where are his ears?


For the uninitiated: yes, it is possible to have un-athletic hair.

Marcus Gilchrist


Marcus Gilchrist was a regular on TDNLA:2012 and he did his best to make the cut on this play. Had it not been for Andre Johnson’s foot gently caressing Gilchrist’s tummy as he whiffed on the big hit, this play would have been all over Sports Center. But even worse than that . . . it would have been the featured GIF for TDNLA: Week 1. But instead, that honor goes to . . .

Eddie Royal


As football fans of the San Diego Chargers we are all savvy enough to recognize that Philip Rivers and Bront Bird are the more un-athletic players on the field at any given time. They will always give us laughs with the way they move, and as such, they will always be candidates to take home TDNLA honors. But these types of football players are not the essence of That Did Not Look Athletic.

The spirit of TDNLA is to recognize the supremely gifted and athletic player who, for one moment in time . . . absolutely sh*ts the bed. And in Week 1 there was no better candidate than Eddie Royal who was having a real nice game until he dropped this third down pass and killed a critical 4th quarter drive.

It’s all you this week, Mr. Royal.

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.