On Sept. 4, 2009, the 16th-ranked Oregon Ducks lost to 14th-ranked Boise State in Boise. The Broncos still had Chris Petersen at head coach and Kellen Moore at quarterback, and were the chosen ones of the mid-major programs. Still, a ranked power conference school liked Oregon probably felt like a win in Boise should have been something like a birthright. It didn’t go down that way, and Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount showed his frustration by straight cold-cocking Boise State defensive lineman Byron Hout on national television after the game ended.
The punch was replayed over and over, and Blount was suspended for the remainder of the season for it. Blount was supposed to be part of a two-headed monster at running back for the Ducks that season, with him providing the thunder and LaMichael James providing the lightning. But Blount’s complete breakdown (he was also ready to fight a number of heckling fans, but was restrained by teammates and coaches) cast a pall over the season, or at least until head coach Chip Kelly decided to reinstate Blount early in November. Coaches are nothing if not lenient when it looks like they need some help at running back.
Soon after the punch, you wouldn’t have been alone in thinking that it would follow Blount for the rest of his career, as long as it may be. Now, however, he’s a Super Bowl-winning running back for the New England Patriots, a discount part Bill Belichick plucked from the scrap heap (or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or whatever you want to call them), emblematic of the good ol’ Patriot way. But the Internet remembers, LeGarrette.