Monday Night Football gave us a hell of a game with the Baltimore Ravens withstanding a late push by the Cleveland Browns, but it was another potential push by the Browns that had everyone talking.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson left the field in the fourth quarter in quite a hurry, to trot back to the locker room in an odd little jog that screams “I gotta poop.” He waved a team employee out of the way to almost impeded his progress to the locker room, was gone for a few minutes, they returned to the field and led the Ravens to victory.
So begins the biggest mystery of the 20202 season: Did Lamar Jackson poop?
Jackson’s official stance is that he had cramps.
This could be one of those situations where you tell the partial truth to hide the whole truth. I think it’s definitely acceptable to call needing to poop “cramping,” because there are cramp mechanics involved in the poop process. That said, Jackson is going out of his way to hide the potential pooping, saying he “didn’t pull a Paul Pierce,” referring to when Pierce pooped himself during the 2008 NBA Finals, then sat in a wheelchair to hide the crime.
Let’s be clear here: I don’t think Jackson pooped his pants. The run he made to the locker room was not that of someone who had an accident. Extensive pants pooping experience with my 4-year-old has taught me that slow, measured movements are the actions of someone who had a pants accident. The run he used to get to the locker room was far more indicative of someone who had to use the bathroom, not someone who accidentally used the bathroom. So no, I do not believe Lamar Jackson “pulled a Paul Pierce.”
However, Jackson is resolute that he did not need to poop in the fourth quarter.
Jackson continues to use the “I was cramping” excuse, which is an interesting one. I’ve watched hundreds, upon hundreds of NFL games. Players cramping is a regular occurrence. Typically they have a trainer’s table set up on the sideline to get a massage and rapid treatment, so they can remain close to the game. Also, when players cramp they walk extremely gingerly, in an effort to alleviate the pain. Cramps often look like a far more serious injury to fans at home, prompting initial freak-outs, before the relief when we hear a player was cramping.
In short: I’ve never seen a cramping player run as fast as Lamar Jackson did to get back to the locker room in the fourth quarter. Perhaps that’s because he knew how much was on the line, but that rapid movement could have exacerbated cramps, making the whole situation worse.
If we asked Occam to apply his razor to this situation he’d say “Lamar Jackson had to poop,” so that’s what I’m going with. Everybody poops, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t make the mistake Paul Pierce did and hide it for years. Own it, embrace it. You’ve just got to push through it, free yourself of that burden, and I promise when it’s all over you’ll feel 10 pounds lighter.