Hank Baskett

49ers sign Ian Johnson, otherwise known as the ‘Boise St. Proposal Guy’

The San Francisco 49ers swapped practice squad tailbacks, replacing Xavier Omon with Boise State legend Ian Johnson. Johnson, who was recently released by the Detroit Lions, has zero NFL carries. He’s seven months younger than Omon, a fellow practice squad vet who amassed 11 carries over two seasons (’08-’09) with the Buffalo Bills.

Johnson saw time on Minnesota’s and Arizona’s practice squads before lasting with Detroit’s from November of last year until a week ago. Johnson managed recently to impress a Detroit News reporter, who wrote, “There is no earthly reason to expect Johnson will make the (Lions’) 53-man roster — except you can’t imagine how they could ever cut a player that does everything right, albeit nothing particularly great.”

The move probably means nothing in terms of who you’ll see in the Niners’ backfield this season. However, Johnson provided a footnote for writers and TV guys everywhere by proposing on national television after he helped Boise St. defeat Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

I know I’m REALLY late on this, but I never watched the clip of Johnson proposing until I heard the Niners signed him. So if you’ve already seen video of the proposal, feel free to skip to the bottom and complain about KNBR hosts as per usual. I didn’t watch the proposal when it happened, and when I heard “a football player proposed” the next morning it didn’t exactly send me on an urgent mission to unearth video evidence. I’m probably like most guys — I don’t watch football to see the star running back propose to his cheerleader girlfriend afterward.

Why didn’t I care? It’s kind of like how most guys are dumbfounded when their girlfriend or wife asks them “how is Hank Baskett doing?” They only care about Baskett because he’s married to Kendra Wilkinson, one of those “Girls Next Door” who used to pretend that they slept with Hugh Hefner so they could be on television. Guys care about what players do for their favorite team and/or fantasy team. Who they’re married to is too much information for most of us to process.

My answer to the Baskett question when it comes annually from my wife: “How do you expect me to know what Baskett’s doing? He’s a wide receiver and he can’t catch. At all. He’s terrible. He couldn’t even hold onto an onside kick when he was on the hands team in the Super Bowl! Arrrggghhhh!”

Anyway, since I’ve never watched Johnson’s proposal until now, let alone closely, I had no help idea Chris Myers played such a huge, awkward part. Myers is his generally robotic self, but around the 1-minute mark in the video he screws up in three ways:

1. Myers mentions how Johnson’s going to propose in front of Chrissy Popadics, the cheerleader girlfriend. Nothing like getting warmed up for a proposal by hearing about it first from a sideline guy whose calling cards are a terrible Johnny Carson impression and lines like “now THAT deserves a wow.”

2. Myers — who seemed to be simultaneously setting up the proposal while getting over his complete and total disbelief that it was actually happening — doesn’t catch Johnson popping the question on the microphone. Myers was a little disoriented at this point, to put it mildly.

3. Myers then nudges Popadics* to get her response, and not exactly in a gentle manner.


Stay tuned for my next post, where I break down a really amazing YouTube where — get this — a prairie dog looks totally dramatic! Kind of a cult classic, I can’t believe I found it.

*One of the all-time great last names.

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