Whatever you think of professional football, or even organized sports as a whole, the breathtaking chaos of this clip, which immediately went viral, is what makes it worth watching.
First, some context. The NFL season is underway, and Sunday’s showdown between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals saw the latter squad take a sizable risk, only to pay for it dearly. At the tail end of the game’s first half, with only two seconds left, the Cards lined up to kick a longshot 68-yard field goal. But the kick fell short. Very short.
Had the kick been good, it would have been a record unto itself: The longest field goal in NFL history, scored by the kicker who, Matt Prater, who held the previous (and as of later in the same day, no longer standing) record of 64 yards. That’s not what happened, though. The ball fell short of the crossbars, and landed instead in the hands of the Jags’ Jamal Agnew.
It’s better to just watch what happened next.
First, a round of applause for Gus Johnson, the sportscaster you can hear screaming over this clip. Even if you know nothing about football and don’t care at all about organized sports, Johnson’s infectious shrieking excitement paints the whole picture. Strange happenings occur in football every week, but shenanigans like this are truly special.
Agnew’s run is the big deal here. What Prater lost in a failed attempt to score for his team (and set an NFL record), Agnew gained with his 109-yard touchdown run — an NFL record unto itself. There’s a twisted sort of poetry to that outcome.
UPDATE: Sept. 26, 2021, 4:12 p.m. EDT An earlier version of this story stated that Matt Prater held the current record for longest NFL field goal. While the stat was accurate when this article was written, Prater’s record fell after Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker landed a 66-yard field goal. The article has been updated to reflect the day’s news.