Even in the midst of garbage, there’s the potential for beauty. An otherwise plodding, lackluster Sunday night game between the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins included the absolute gem of offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse rushing for glory and failing miserably.
After you’ve gotten done watching that clip above 70 or 80 times, let’s go through a few points:
• The big fella there running with the ball is 328 pounds. Read that again: 328 pounds. One-sixth of a ton. This is not the prototypical size for a running back.
• The ball was available for Newhouse to grab only because the Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh pulled off a brilliant strip of quarterback David Carr, a pickpocketing so clean and thorough that Carr completely followed through on his throw barely realizing the ball was gone.
• Newhouse has been in the league since 2011, and he has exactly one fumble recovery, made during his rookie season for 0 yards. In other words, he fell on the ball. That means this is the first time he’s touched the ball while upright and moving.
• Think about that for a moment. This is the first opportunity Newhouse has had to move the ball in nearly a decade. He’s spent his entire career doing the grunt work for others, and here he gets his own chance to shine. You bet your tail he’s going to make the most of it.
• Only problem is, he has no idea what he’s doing. He gets undercut, so hard that he flips — think for a moment about the force necessary to flip a 328-pound man a full 360 degrees — and the ball makes it only about 90 of those degrees before flying off behind him.
• Newhouse hit the ground with seismic force and just lay there, either exhausted or disgusted or both. He had the world, or at least the football, in his hands and then had it all ripped away.
• A guy getting a chance to shine and then getting his legs taken out from under him and fumbling away glory has so many potential meanings. Apply that metaphor to your own life as you wish.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.