Rick Zamperin: Man who gave us the ‘butt-fumble’ retires from NFL

Former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring from the NFL to become a college football TV analyst.
Former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring from the NFL to become a college football TV analyst. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Nearly seven years after he was at the centre of one of the funniest bloopers in National Football League history, Mark Sanchez is calling it a career.

The former quarterback who spent the last 10 years in the NFL is joining ESPN as a college football analyst.

Sanchez was named the 2009 Rose Bowl MVP after leading the University of Southern California over Penn State and months later was selected fifth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.

Thanks to a stout defence and an incredible run game, Sanchez and the Jets made it all the way to the AFC Championship game in his first two seasons in New York.

The Long Beach, California native hardly set the football world on fire in those first two years, completing 54 per cent of his pass attempts for 2,867 yards, 29 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.

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He would last just three more seasons in the Big Apple before spending the last half-decade with the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins.

Aside from once being caught by TV cameras on the sidelines eating a hot dog during a game in 2009, Sanchez will best be remembered for his epic butt-fumble on Nov. 22, 2012.

With 79,088 fans in attendance at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and about 20 million more watching the primetime U.S. Thanksgiving Day game on television Sanchez became the, well, butt of jokes forever.

Trailing New England 14-0 early in the second quarter, Sanchez botched a handoff to his running back and then proceeded to run into the backside of one of his offensive lineman and fumble the ball.

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The Patriots scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown and went on to embarrass the Jets 49-19.

The gaffe became known as the butt-fumble.

He won’t be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his exploits on the field, but if there was a Football Bloopers Hall of Fame Sanchez’s butt-fumble would most certainly take centre stage.