College football has a full-blown epidemic on its hands and the disease is spreading by the week.
It’s best known as “pulling a DeSean Jackson” – Dropping the ball before the goal line to prematurely celebrate a touchdown like “D-Jax” did on “Monday Night Football” in 2008.
Every time it happens in either college or the NFL, the entire country screams in unison, “Not again!”
And yet it keeps happening over and over and over.
Thus far in the 2016 college football season, we’ve already seen it three times — and it’s not even October yet.
First it was Clemson’s Ray-Ray McCloud who did it on a punt return in Week 2 vs. Troy:
On Saturday, Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon and Cal’s Vic Enwere both “pulled a DeSean” and didn’t suffer any consequences. In Mixon’s case, the refs totally missed it. In Enwere’s, the referees ruled that there was no “immediate recovery” by Texas and handed the Golden Bears the ball back at the 1-yard line.
Watching players repeatedly drop the ball at the 1-yard line feels like a scene out of Idiocracy, the 2006 film where people in the future have become so stupid that they spray crops with energy drinks instead of water.
Have our IQs as a species already dropped so much that people are no longer capable of comprehending you must hold onto the ball before the end zone to score a touchdown?
It appears that way, as the whole concept of dropping the ball as quickly as you can after scoring a touchdown is to play a totally unnecessary game of “Chicken” with the goal line.
The only thing more amazing than the stupidity it takes to fumble the ball before scoring a touchdown in some perverse form of showboating is how it keeps happening despite the national humiliation it results in.
As a college football fan, I’ve seen players “pull a DeSean Jackson” for 15 years and every time it happens makes me shudder every time.
That list includes:
- Oregon State’s Chad Johnson (2001)
- Marshall Aaron Dobson (2010)
- Kansas State’s Nigel Malone (2012)
- Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington (2013)
- Mississippi State’s Fred Brown (2014)
- Iowa’s John Lowdermilk (2014)
- Utah’s Kaelin Clay (2014)
With referees only catching the brain fart about half the time and public humiliation not providing enough of a deterrent, I propose a new solution: The “Walk of Shame” from “Game of Thrones” in full uniform.
That’s right, walking across campus through an angry mob throwing produce at you while the head coach walks behind with a bell screaming, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
I hope every college football coach walks into practice this week, plays that clip from the HBO show and says, “The next a**hole who drops the football before the end zone is doing this.”
Because after 15 years and a seemingly endless supply of DeSean Jackson clones, it’s time that players stupid enough to “pull a DeSean Jackson” atone for their sins against the football gods.
— Rankings by Jim Weber, a veteran college sports journalist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. Weber has written for CBS Sports Network, NBCSports.com, ESPN the Magazine and the college sports website he founded and sold, LostLettermen.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JimMWeber.