Bears running back Marion Barber started plotting his backflip during practice last week.
“If I score, I’m going to do it,” Barber told Sam Hurd, his longtime teammate.
Hurd, who trained with Barber during the summer, tried to be the voice of reason.
“Listen, you need to practice,” Hurd told Barber, who had missed the Bears’ first three games because of an injured calf. “You haven’t done it in awhile. Plus, you’re coming off an injury.”
Barber didn’t listen.
He scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Caroilna Panthers.
He set his feet, bent his knees and leaped into a backflip.
It ended with a face plant.
Hurd laughed at the stunt gone comically wrong.
“He’s too cocky,” Hurd said. “He tried to do a layover and he didn’t tuck his legs.”
It’s not every day that one hears gymnast-speak in an NFL locker room. But Barber and Hurd practiced backflips throughout the summer at RISE Gym in Rockwall, Texas.
“He learned it this summer in like a week,” Hurd said. “We train at a gymnastics facility, so they taught us how to do backflips, and he just went bananas doing it off of everything. Everything.”
As in, everything.
“He does it better running off of walls and stuff,” Hurd said. “He understands the spring.”
By Monday morning, Barber’s failed backflip had been viewed more than 15,000 times on YouTube. The video blooper also briefly was featured on the front page of Yahoo’s website.
Despite the national attention, Hurd said, more backflips would be on the way for Barber.
“Oh, for sure,” Hurd said. “Embarrassed? That’s not even a word in his vocabulary.”