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A NOTE TO MICHIGAN'S PUNTER

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THAT'S NOT A MISTAKE. THIS IS A MISTAKE.

Hey, Buddy! Boy howdy, did you fuck up. You fucked up HUGE. Like, leaning back and looking at a bad cake you made for your kid's birthday party bad, when there's no amount of icing that'll fix it. This is a present you cannot wrap correctly, your Homer Simpson''s barbecue, the car you backed into a much more expensive car in a parking lot. This is you looking at your burning house after you realize you did, in fact, leave the oven on for a week.

Boy, buddy, did you fuck up. Unlike the rest of us, you get to fuck up in public.  No one saw the time we decided the ginger beer wasn't quite carbonated enough, and put the ginger beer in a Sodastream bottle, and then ducked in horror as the entire arrangement exploded and coated the kitchen in spicy, sugary soda-goo. There's still spots on the ceiling! Unless we paint them over, they're going to be there forever. Each of them whispers "you fucked uuuuuup" at us while we're making our coffee each morning.

We didn't do that in front of everyone, though, and we didn't do it in the context of a football game. Blake O'Neill did, because he's the guy who dropped the snap on Michigan's last punt, and then tried to recover it, and obviously didn't because Michigan State won that game by returning it for a game-winning TD. It should say something about the play that even Michigan State players, minutes after the game and clearly present at the event, admitted no understanding of the event. It does not happen on punts to end the game; it does not happen in rivalry games, especially, when one mistake gets you written into the official lore of the series for a practical forever.

That's you, now. This isn't to encourage you, because that's what everyone will do today. This is to say that man, you are not even close to making the biggest mistake ever. Not even close, not even in the neighborhood, not even in the same damn quadrant of the universe of errors, not even within a billion astronomical units. As long as you are not Stephen Perkins, you can't even come close.

STEPHEN PERKINS.

You're not even close to him. In June of 2009, Perkins came back from a weekend of golfing and unearthly drinking in the English countryside to his job as a trader in London. Like a real viking, Perkins did a bit of work, and then resumed drinking at noon. At one point, he blacked out.

How hard did he black out? Perkins does not remember this, but at one point around 1:22 a.m. his body and mind, freed from his will by a sea of gin or whatever other ungodly liquor the British think is okay for humans to consume, decided to start doing some trading. This may be a light phrasing for what Stephen Perkins did, actually. Let's try that again.

AT ONE IN THE MORNING, STEPHEN PERKINS, COMPLETELY LIT TO THE POINT OF HAVING NO MEMORY OF THIS AFTERWARDS YET STILL ALIVE ENOUGH TO OPERATE A TRADING TERMINAL, PUSHED OVER $500 MILLION OF SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY ON THE TABLE AND TRADED ALMOST SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S AVAILABLE TRADABLE OIL WITH NO OVERSIGHT, PERMISSION, OR REASON. HE JUST DID THAT, AND THEN CALLED IN SICK THE NEXT MORNING.

Perkins' hammered trading raised the global price of crude oil two dollars all by itself, wiped out three-quarters of the firm's annual profits, and got him banned from trading. The rationale for that ban contains a badge of honor no other man has ever earned before, and may never earn again.

"Mr. Perkins poses an extreme risk to the market when drunk"

DAMN BUDDY. It's not that you're just talkative or annoying or maudlin when you're drunk. Nope, YOU'RE A DAMN MENACE TO THE ENTIRE GLOBAL ECONOMY, AN UNFEELING CARNIVOROUS MONSTER THAT WOULD SELL ADORABLE BABIES AS A COMMODITY IF IT COULD. That thing officially said it was terrified of a hammered Stephen Perkins with an open laptop.

Until you're judged to be a danger to global capitalism all by yourself, your piddling-ass dropped football doesn't even register on the radar as anything close to a mistake. (And Stephen Perkins is no Nick Leeson. Goddamn, Nick Leeson. He DID IT.)