Early in the fourth quarter during last Saturday’s Toronto Argonauts/B.C. Lions CFL match, B.C. quarterback Casey Printers was hit and fumbled the ball which was scooped up by Toronto Argonauts’ Ronald Flemons who started running toward the end zone. With no one in sight, Flemons had what appeared to be a clear path to the endzone. What could possibly go wrong?
Recovering from a fumble, Flemons ran thirty yards and then was about to score when the ball slipped out of his hand at the three yard line. The opposing team player fell on Flemons and the ball in the end zone. The bad part, Flemons wasn’t showboating or dancing like most football players do in today’s game, the ball just jumped from his arms and danced on the field before the opposing player was able to fall on it. The fumble cost him a touchdown. To make matters even more embarrassing, he was the defensive player of the week.
All fumbles are embarrassing, but Flemons’s fumble was undoubtedly one of the worst:
The Flemons fumble led to comparison with the Leon Lett’s infamous Super Bowl blunder. Lett’s play was the result of foolishness, arrogance and Don Beebe. Sports critics were of the opinion that Flemons fumble was just plain ol’ incompetence.
During the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl game in 1993 Lett, a defensive lineman on the Dallas Cowboys, recovered a fumble and ran toward the end zone. When he reached the 10-yard line, he slowed, and held the ball out. Buffalo Bills receiver Don Beebe caught up to Lett and knocked the ball out his hand and into the end zone, resulting in a touchback.
Last week, Flemons recorded three sacks and seven tackles and was named the CFL’s defensive player of the week. It is the first time Flemons has received that honour in his career. What a twist of events!
To his credit, Ronald Flemons has moved on. He is not letting last week’s fumble bother him. To him, football is all about maintaining a balanced perspective and that’s why he is not letting the fumble bother him.
“I was mad at the time, because it was a play that was a momentum-changing play, but everyone makes mistakes,” Flemons said. “It’s not like I was hotdogging or anything like that.”
But, Flemons said comparisons to Lett and others who made similar mistakes are unfair.
“Guys like Lett and DeSean Jackson were hotdogging. Me, it just fell out of my hand,” Flemons said. “It was just an honest mistake. I don’t think about it at all. You guys think about it more than I do.”
Jackson, a Philadelphia Eagles receiver, was about to score a touchdown during a night game in 2008 when he celebrated prematurely, flipping the football behind him at the one-yard line before entering the end zone.
“I don’t even know. It just sort of fell out. You saw it. It just fell out. That’s what is was. It’s just one of those things that happens.
“I’m just upset because I could have helped us win the football game. That’s the only thing. Now it’s definitely over and I don’t think about it at all.”