Former running back Jim “Cannonball” Butler passed away on Feb. 10 at the age of 70. He achieved notoriety with the Falcons during his four years with the team, during which he was named to a Pro Bowl following the 1969 season. But Cannonball Butler had another important achievement in the early part of his career with the Steelers: buttfumble pioneer!
Nearly as memorable is an old film clip from the 1960s that helped make Jim “Cannonball” Butler infamous. The Steelers running back was shown moving into punt formation when the center snapped the ball just as Butler crossed between him and the punter. The football bounced off Butler’s rump, a film clip that was often shown to highlight the woebegone Steelers of the 1960s.
Sadly, the Internet doesn’t want to furnish us with video of the Cannonbuttfumble, but just know that Mark Sanchez and the many others who have a football deflect off their backside owe a debt to Cannonball Butler.