Rex Ryan Relives Butt Fumble Play, Recognizes It Will Always Live On

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Rex Ryan

Photo via Thumbnail Photo Via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images.

The magnitude of the New York Jets’ infamous Butt Fumble against the New England Patriots is not lost on Rex Ryan.

In celebration (if you can call it that) of the anniversary of the play, ESPN compiled an oral history of the ordeal, including the perspective of Ryan.

While that moment came in what Ryan cites to be the worst quarter of his coaching career, he never thought the play would resonate as much as it has.

“You sit back, you probably have a drink or two and then you’re like, ‘Flush that one away and get on to the next game,’ ” Ryan told ESPN. “At the time, I never realized it was going down as the worst play in NFL history. As soon as they coined it Butt Fumble, that was when you knew the play was going to live on and on.”

The Jets finished the season 6-10, and it spelled the end of Mark Sanchez’s four-year stint with the team. Sanchez has played a total of 15 regular-season games since the start of the 2013 season, and has not played a snap all season with his current team, the Chicago Bears.

While he did have good moments, Ryan readily admits that Sanchez will be remembered most for that play.

“As soon as you say ‘Mark Sanchez,’ people think Butt Fumble. But we did win a few games together. Sanchez was a good quarterback — he just had a horrible moment,” Ryan said. “Mark won more playoff games than any quarterback in Jets history — that includes Joe Namath. Everybody has a bad moment in their career that you’d like to forget.

“But this one, because of the way it was labeled and the disaster that the play turned out to be, unfortunately, this one lives on and probably always will.”

Given what transpired on that play, it’s hard to argue it won’t always live on.

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