How cool would it be to have people say about you: “He’s the only player in NFL history to …”
I mean, who wouldn’t want to be The Only Player – unless it’s for something like throwing nine picks in a game?
Well, there’s a guy on the Redskins, believe it or not, who’s an Only Player – the only player in the league’s 92 seasons* to score in all four of these ways:
1. Interception return
2. Fumble return
4. Two-point conversion
(How’s that for a Grand Slam?)
Any guesses? The answer is … London Fletcher. He did most of his handiwork with other teams, the Rams and Bills, though he satisfied one of the criteria in Washington. Here’s how he pulled it off:
● Interception return (2) – Scored on a 17-yard runback against the Packers in 2006 (QB: Brett Favre) and on a 27-yard runback against the Cardinals in ’07 (QB: Kurt Warner).
● Fumble return (1) – Scooped up a loose ball (after Takeo Spikes dislodged it from Patriots QB Tom Brady) and ran 5 yards for a TD in the ’06 opener. In fact, it was on the first offensive snap of the season.
● Safety (2) – Tackled Lions RB Greg Hill in the end zone in 1999 and did the same to Dolphins QB Gus Frerotte in 2005.
● Two-point conversion (1) – Caught a pass from FS Keith Lyle for two points against the Falcons in 2000.
The last one is what separates him from the pack. Plenty of defensive players have scored the first three ways, but how many have basked in the glory of a two-point conversion?
Fletcher’s came under unusual circumstances. The Rams lost their kicker, Jeff Wilkins, to an injury early in the game, so they started going for two whenever they scored a touchdown – five times in all. They were successful on four of them, which happens to be an NFL record. But that’s small potatoes compared to Fletcher’s amazing, incredible, unprecedented, (insert your own adjective here) feat.
(Isn’t it great, too, that some of the principals involved are such famous personages as Favre, Warner, Brady and – for local flavor – Frerotte?)
Just thought I’d give you a little pick-me-up as you steel yourself for the Redskins’ game Sunday at Seattle. Remember, there’s at least one guy on the Washington roster who could be described as “history-making,” even if it’s hidden history. Here’s hoping Mike Shanahan lets Fletcher boot an extra point sometime – or sends him out for a pass on a fake field goal. Then London would be even more singular than he already is.
*OK, I’m being a bit disingenuous here. After all, the NFL didn’t add the two-point conversion until 1994 (though the rival American Football League had it from 1960 to ’69).