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History: The Seventh Inning Stretch

Ah, the Seventh Inning Stretch – a welcomed pause during a baseball game’s seventh inning half. It is a time for fans to move around and stretch their legs, possibly dance a little, and prepare for the remaining innings. There is much debate as to the origins of the famous Seventh Inning Stretch. Popular folklore indicates President Taft may have started the trend. When attending a game in 1910, the obese President found it difficult to remain seated for the duration of the event so he rose to stretch during the seventh inning half. This act prompted the stadium to follow suite out of courtesy. President Taft was known for spending more time at baseball games than he spent running the country.

Cubs @ Mariners

An alternative explanation for the origin of this tradition comes from a manuscript that dates back to 1869. Harry Wright of the Cincinnati Red Stockings described the fans taking a break that sounds very similar to the infamous Seventh Inning Stretch. Wright wrote, “The spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches.”

Whether President Taft started the tradition or not baseball fans a cross the country will continue to enjoy the breath of fresh air that accompanies this seventh inning tradition.

Will Mark Sanchez Move Beyond the “Butt Fumble?”

Back in 2009, Mark Sanchez was a hot commodity. He was swooped up in the first round of the NFL draft by the New York Jets as the fifth overall draft pick with only one QB selected before him. The year before he went to the NFL he led USC to a Rose Bowl Championship victory and was named the game’s MVP. Sanchez and Roethlisberger are the only QBs in NFL history to lead their teams to consecutive conference championship games their first 2 years in the league.

So, what happened last season?

If you followed the NFL last year, you more than likely know what Sanchez is now remembered most for. It isn’t the fact that he was the top ranked quarterback in the nation coming out of high school, or that he holds a Jets franchise record for most postseason victories by a QB. It is for his “butt fumble.”

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The infamous “butt fumble” occurred on Thanksgiving night when the Jets played the New England Patriots. Sanchez was scrambling with the ball and proceeded to run right into his lineman’s buttocks and ended up on his back. The ball came loose and a defender scooped it up and scored a touchdown. I recommend clicking here to see a video of this classic play so you can develop full appreciation for the “butt fumble.”

Aside from the “butt fumble,” Sanchez struggled all season long and nearly had the worst season of his career. This upcoming season he faces stiff competition for his starting QB position from Geno Smith who the Jets selected in the second round of this year’s NFL draft. To add to this tension, Mark Sanchez hosted a voluntary training camp called “Jets West” in Southern California that Smith chose not to attend.

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Despite this, Geno Smith said that he and Sanchez are “cool” and that there are no hard feelings between them. The Jets have started talking about using Smith for a read-option package this season and as of now, Sanchez still believes that he will be the Jet’s starting QB. No one knows what the future holds, but it will be interesting to see if Sanchez can redeem himself this season and overcome the “butt fumble” legacy.