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Barber Planned His Ill-Fated Backflip

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Barber Planned His Ill-Fated Backflip

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ATLANTA - OCTOBER 2: Marion Barber #24 of the Chicago Bears celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field on October 2, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Marion Barber made his Bears debut with a rushing touchdown and a celebratory backflip that created some giggles. Though Lovie Smith wasn't privy to it, Barber says that it was all part in the plan.

On Matt Forte's historic rushing day, Barber picked up just 17 yards. Three of those were spent on a touchdown that sealed the Bears win in the fourth quarter. After he made it into the end zone, he executed a flip, but fell on his face.

It turns out that Barber had planned both getting a touchdown and the flip. He told Sam Hurd, his teammate in Dallas, that he was going to show off his tumbling skills.

“If I score, I’m going to do it,” Barber told Sam Hurd, his longtime teammate. 
“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 may have told his teammate, but Smith knew nothing of the plan. In today's press conference, he said he didn't tell Barber not to do a flip because he had no idea he would. 

"I can assure you. That wasn’t on my checklist. 'Hey Marion, if you score a touchdown, don’t do a back flip," Smith told reporters. He was disappointed in Barber's form.

"If you decide to do a flip, at least make it all the way over."

 But Barber was quite pleased with his work, despite the faceplant.

He tweeted, "BACKFLIP WAS ON POINT .....YEAAAOWWWW....BLESSUP," and "GOLD MEDAL PERFORMING BACKFLIP ALL DAY.....YEAAOWWWW."

The world gymnastics championships are this week in Tokyo. Barber may want to keep an eye on NBC's coverage of the event to get some tips for the next time he's in the end zone.

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