Jake Butt, one-time hailed Tight End prospect, has retired at the age of 26. Normally a 5th round draft pick who couldn’t make a dent on a roster and doesn’t have a single TD to his name would not be news, but there is a reason his retirement was news. It is because his name is Butt. You can try and argue that’s not the reason anyone cared, but deep down you know it to be true. His name is Butt, and I don’t know anyone who didn’t kinda want Butt to succeed. Because his name is Butt. His name is Butt. No human being can resist a sensible chuckle at the word butt. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar. Even Jake Butt knew it and leaned into it. His Twitter handle was @jbooty. He knew it. Every article discussing his retirement is going to avoid bringing it up but we all know the reason we cared is that his name is Butt. It sickens me that we have to pretend otherwise. Admit it. His name is Butt, the word butt is funny, and that’s why we like Jake Butt and care about his story.

Not that his story isn’t a huge bummer. Butt wasn’t a highly touted prospect simply because his name is Butt. Dude was a legitimately talented tight end who played very well at Michigan. He was on track to become probably the highest-rated TE in the class, but that was when he tore his ACL just months before the draft. It was his second ACL tear, on a different knee, meaning both his knees had now been surgically repaired. Not great, Bob. He was drafted by the Broncos in the 5th and spent a year on IR. Unfortunately, it never got better for him.

He tore an ACL for the third time a year later and lost another season to more knee surgery. He had 6 knee surgeries in total. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to play after one knee surgery let alone 6. The mental and physical cost of spending your entire career in recovery must be awful and I hope his new found freedom gives him some peace, and that he recovers enough that his knees aren’t jello by the time he’s 40. Farewell Jake Butt. You have the rest of your young life ahead of you.

But man it is a disgrace we never got peak Butt. The puns we could have made. The cheeky jokes the announcers would have to pretend not to laugh at. The jerks like me who would take every possible opportunity to say the word butt and every variation of butt you could possibly imagine. We deserved 3 time champion Butt. We deserved a hall of fame Butt. We deserved to see him make a TD and say he was bringing up the rear on a big block. We deserved to see him catch a TD in the endzone and have a 5 minute replay trying to figure out if he was out of bounds only to acknowledge that no, his butt landed first inside the line. We deserved to watch him fumble a ball and have it be called a Buttfumble. These moments would have been sports magic and the frailty of the human knee joint robbed us of that joy. At least Michigan fans got to make those jokes, but would a pleasure it would have been to have butt jokes on a national primetime scale. Curse you, Jake Butt’s knees. Curse you.