‘Freedom!’: Ex-Detroit Lions QB Dan Orlovsky celebrates Jimmy G’s Sunday night gaffe

Detroit Free Press

In case there was any doubt if misery likes company, just ask Dan Orlovsky.

The former Detroit Lions quarterback-turned-ESPN analyst now has company on infamous play.

Orlovsky, who spent 12 years as an NFL quarterback including two stints with the Lions (2005-08, 2014-16), went viral late Sunday evening after celebrating Jimmy Garoppolo making one of the biggest gaffes of his professional career.

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The San Francisco 49ers faced second-and-10 from their own 2-yard line against the Denver Broncos during Sunday Night Football when Garoppolo faked the handoff and dropped back for a play-action pass. With the Broncos pass rush bearing down on him, Garoppolo continued to drop back and throw a check down pass to the left side of the field.

The only problem, Garoppolo dropped back too far and his right foot stepped out of bounds through the back of the end zone and he was called for a safety, much to the delight of Orlovsky.

Orlovsky, of course, infamously ran out of the back of the end zone on a similar play in 2008 when the Lions were on the road in Minnesota. It became the poster child play of what was the worst season in NFL history, as he Lions went 0-16.

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The play is so well known, in the middle of the play-by-play call Sunday Night, Mike Tirico said “remember Dan Orlovsky did that, stepped all the way out of the end zone.” It’s also something Orolvosky still lives with every day in his twitter bio that says, “end zones should be 11 yards.”

Now, Orlovsky has company and he immediately celebrated when tweeted Sunday night: “IVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER FFFFREEEEEDDDOOOMMMM”.

While the safety was likely embarrassing for Garoppolo, it actually could have been worse. The 49ers quarterback was intercepted on the attempted pass by Broncos defensive end Bradley Chubb who walked the ball into the end zone, before it was ultimately ruled a safety.

The Lions went on to lose their game 12-10 to fall to 0-5 that year. The safety, which cut San Francisco’s lead from four to two, ended up being the difference in the game as the Broncos would score on the ensuing drive and hold on for the 11-10 win.

Orlovsky had a good time with the play Monday morning on ESPN’s “First Take” when he said “this is the best 12-hour stretch I’ve had, maybe ever.”

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