“How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of the Tootsie Pop?”
An adage as old as visual media itself. While the phrase’s origin lies in a cartoon child asking an owl about a lollipop’s durability, science is nothing if not extrapolation. So extrapolate we shall.
On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks were that clearly-loaded bird (their mascot is literally named Blitz), making the Philadelphia Eagles look like a pathetic, animated juvenile. This flawless metaphor was never more obvious than it was midway through the third quarter, when what was once a game morphed into pure disarray.
On the surface, this play appeared to be the world’s most chaotic fumble recovery, but really it was the world’s most chaotic fumble recovery. Okay, yes, it seemed as ridiculous as it was in actuality. If there’s one thing that you can count on from your friends at Beast Pode, it’s thorough analysis of things that nobody remotely cares about.
But today is different. Ahead of you lies a comprehensive timeline of Sunday’s craziest snap; an entirely necessary breakdown outlining the play’s nuance. Let us commence.
The Eagles run a sprint draw (h/t Seth Galina) out of the gun to the left, but, with both the quarterback and running back shifting way further right than any self-respecting OC would recommend, Shaquem Griffin has a free run at the exchange. The terror of witnessing Seattle’s most dynamic pass-rusher bear down must be astonishing, as the handoff is as the Eagles are for the other 59 minutes and 44 seconds of the contest: a complete and utter failure.
The ball lies on the ground, ripe for the taking by offensive and defensive linemen alike. Quinton Jefferson scoops up the pigskin and begins his reimagining of the storied tradition of stór maður með fótbolta, which, when converted from Icelandic, roughly translates to “big man with football.” This is of course not to be confused with hrútarnir skoruðu þrjú stig í ofurskálinni.
While Jefferson rumbles downfield, enemies hopelessly clutching at his beefy ankles, the real storyline is taking shape. Griffin, after blowing the play up initially, gets hype. He turns to the sideline in blatant celebration, only to be told by his peers, and I quote, “jesus h. christ shaquem, the ball is still live, turn the fuck around.” The festivities cease and Griffin flies back into the frame immediately before the initiation of Phase III.
Quinton Jefferson is a realist. He knows that he is not a fast man. He’s also kind of an idiot. Or at least he is at this exact moment.
In an attempt to keep the play alive and maximize chances of a touchdown — you can’t get paid without paydirt, folks — Jefferson laterals the ball into the waiting arms of Quandre Diggs. Unfortunately, Diggs is not entirely prepared to become a recipient and the ball bricks off his hands. The decision, while valiant in nature, is immediately shrouded in entropy and is without question where this play reaches peak levels of Seahawks bullshit.
Oh, and another thing: Jefferson is actually down by contact before he can lateral the ball, making everything that follows superfluous. All the better, in my eyes.
With the ball once again free, a revitalized Shaquem Griffin decides that his initial playmaking isn’t enough and scoops the ball up with surprising ease. Put in more simple terms, that dude holds more dexterity with one arm than any of us will with two at any point in our lives.
Once in possession of the football, Griffin becomes what Seahawks fans confirmed on Sunday that Rashaad Penny will never be: a dynamic ballcarrier. He easily separates from Isaac Seumalo (more like Isaac Seumaslow), turning upfield and towards the end zone. The only thing standing in his way of a touchdown? A streaking J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who decides he should probably make a contribution at some point huh.
All of this is fine and dandy, but one fact remains, one lone truth that just takes all of this to the next level, a solitary result that makes this snap more Seahawky than any other in a game chock full of similar moments of stupidity: the Seahawks scored zero points on the ensuing drive, meaning that this play and all that it represents, was in fact pointless.