So-Called 'Worst Football Play in NFL History' Still Profoundly Watchable


There have been so many complaints about the quality of play during the NFL's Thursday Night Football games over the past several years that it's obscured the undeniable reality that some 20-30 percent of all the league's games are profoundly unwatchable. And that's fine because it's sports and the same happens in baseball and basketball, though the import is reduced because there are more opportunities to make up for it over the course of a 162- or 82-game slate than a16-contest sprint.

Any critical thinking brings about the conclusion that this isn't exactly a new phenomenon. In fact, athletes have gotten bigger, stronger, faster, and more skilled across the board, meaning games have never been better — if the metric is seeing world-class ability and genuine competition. This is a long preamble to say this: that football could suck in 1933 as much as it can suck now if you get a bad hit or a bad batch.

Consider this four-second clip from 1933, which features some of the least inspiring form and function you'll ever see. Like, there's no way Frank Gehry would have bothered with that quote if he'd seen this.

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Oof. It's as if everyone involved, from the playcaller down to the right tackle decided to take a play off at the same time. It'd like 21 Randy Mosses out there with incredibly bad timing. The only person who seems to be exerting any energy at all is the guy taking a cheap, late shot at the quarterback's jaw.

We have the same quarterback out there throwing like he's in one of those Dr. Pepper tuition challenges. A stone-handed linebacker who hopefully was never trusted with carrying a human baby anywhere. A photographer who, though granted on-field access, didn't even bother to snap a shot of the action.

So while everyone associated with this film would have rightly wished it to disappear into that drafty warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the haplessness is not without value. In addition to the pure slapstick comedy, there's plenty of things to go over on repeated viewings like some sort of Great Depression-themed Where's Waldo?

If that's your thing, no judgements.