Before the Colts-Patriots game, Colt Anderson was already one of the top five most famous Butte guys over the last decade.
The others on that list are probably former major league catcher Rob Johnson, Olympians Bryon and Brad Wilson, and You Know Who who shot You Know Who in the head in Pakistan back in 2011.
My dad won’t let me mention You Know Who because he fears it will lead to me appearing in an orange jumpsuit in one of those beheading videos. Plus, You Know Who works for FOX News now.
You Know Who nearly reached the Evel Knievel level of fame after he admitted to being the shooter of the notorious terrorist last year. For at least one week, Anderson might have even passed up that.
That is because Anderson was part of a faked punt that nearly, as they say, broke the internet.
Every time I turn on the television or computer I see Colt. It’s like he’s a Kardashian. Luckily, he cut his hair a couple of years ago, otherwise we might have mistaken him for Kourtney.
Turn to ESPN, and there’s Colt. Flip to my only other channel, the NFL Network, and there he is again.
Over and over again, Colt, wearing his No. 32 Indianapolis Colts uniform, keeps taking that ill-advised snap from receiver Griff Whalen and getting smeared by the entire New England Patriots roster.
The fake punt went for a 1-yard loss in Colt’s first, and possibly last, NFL carry. That leaves him 1 yard behind me on the NFL’s all-time career rushing list.
If you haven’t seen the play by now, then you live under a rock. You’ll never be able to get out of jury duty.
Late in the third quarter of NBC’s Sunday night game, the Colts lined up to punt on fourth and three from their own 37 yard line.
Suddenly, nine of the 11 members of the punting team shifted to the right side of the field. Anderson and Whalen ran to the ball, where Anderson took the part as quarterback, and Whalen the center.
The plan was, presumably, was to try to get the Patriots to jump off sides or catch them with too many men on the field.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortenson — Colt would never throw his teammate under the bus like that — Anderson was supposed to say “hike” as a signal to snap the ball. If he said “hut” Whalen was supposed to just sit there until the play clock ran out or time was called.
Colt said “hut” and got the ball anyway.
Punter Pat McAfee, who wasn’t afraid to throw the coaching staff under said bus, said Whalen never practiced the play. Clayton Geathers was the center in practice all week. Geathers left the game with an injury before the play, and Colts coach Chuck Pagano pulled the trigger on the play anyway.
Pagano and, to a lesser extent, Whelan have been laughing stocks since the play backfired miserably.
Almost immediately the internet started filling up with mocking memes and videos. The best is a recreation of the play on Tecmo Bowl, which is still the greatest game ever made.
Luckily, nobody has blamed Anderson, who was as shocked as anyone that he had the ball snapped to him.
ESPN’s SportsCenter ranked the play No. 1 on the “Not Top 10” list. Eighty-three percent of the viewers voted the play the worst of the worst, and one sportscaster called it the “worst play in the history of sports.”
Apparently that guy never saw Mark Sanchez’s “butt fumble.” Apparently he never saw the “Miracle of the Meadowlands.” Apparently he never saw the Seahawks last offensive play in the last Super Bowl.
The Colts disastrous fake punt wasn’t even the worst football play of the weekend. Did you see how the Michigan-Michigan State game ended?
That play by the poor Michigan punter cost his team a win against its in-state rival. It came in front of nearly 112,000 shocked fans at the “Big House,” too.
Indianapolis’ fake punt isn’t even in the same league as the Wolverine nightmare.
Sure, Tom Brady made the Colts pay for the fake punt. A few players later, the Patriots scored a touchdown, and the Colts ended up losing by seven points.
However, there is no way you can claim that play cost them the game. To say that is to say the Colts can beat the Patriots in the first place, and they can’t.
The Patriots are in the Colts’ heads. Maybe they’re not in the players’ heads, but Belichick and Brady are certainly in the heads of the coaches and front-office personnel in Indy.
How else could a Belichick Jedi mind trick work to the tune of giving your backup safety a direct snap with absolutely no blocking?
There is a silver lining to the notoriety the fake punt is getting. That comes from the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
While he might be slightly embarrassed by his role in the play in the short term, this play will benefit Anderson in the long run.
Every time ESPN and the NFL Network show that play, the commentator mentions the name Colt Anderson. His fame is at an all-time high, and that is perfect timing.
The NFL Pro Bowl ballots just came out, and Colt is the Colts’ nominee for the Pro Bowl as a special teams player. Fans get to vote for the players, and the name recognition will most definitely help the former Butte High Bulldog and Montana Grizzly.
Colt has been on the ballot with the Colts and Eagles, and so far has not been elected to the Pro Bowl. It doesn’t seem to matter that he is clearly the best special teams player in the league. Clearly.
Seriously, every other backup safety/special teams ace in the league would have lost at least 2 yards if he was taking on the entire roster of the other team. Colt only lost one.
Even though we had every person in Montana voting repeatedly every day, Colt still got snubbed in Pro Bowl voting the last few years. That is going to change this year because of that silly play.
You watch, this time around Colt is a lock to make the Pro Bowl. Fame, or even infamy, will be on his side.
Of course, by the time the game rolls around on Jan. 31, that faked punt will be a distant memory in the minds of most NFL fans.
Then, You Know Who will regain his rightful title as Butte’s most famous son.
— Bill Foley, who is still 16,726 yards behind Walter Payton on the NFL’s all-time rushing list, writes a column that appears on ButteSports.com on Tuesdays. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74.