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When Lee Sanderlin made his fantasy football picks, he likely never could have foreseen that Carson Wentz, then-quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, would struggle, eventually be benched and traded to the Colts, landing Sanderlin in last place in his fantasy football tournament.
Still, nearly six months after the NFL regular season concluded, the reporter for the Clarion Ledger, part of the USA TODAY Network, walked into a Brandon, Miss. Waffle House just after 4 p.m. Central to serve his punishment for coming in last: spending 24 hours in the iconic restaurant.
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"Every waffle I eat shaves an hour off the clock," Sanderlin said in his first tweet in a thread which would eventually go viral.
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Sanderlin's story: Read it in his own words
I am coming to you live from a Brandon, Mississippi Waffle House. I, a total loser, came in last place in my fantasy football league. As punishment, I spend 24 hours in a Waffle House. Every waffle I eat shaves an hour off the clock. It’s 4:07 Central. pic.twitter.com/oRugzU7rQT
Sanderlin entered the Waffle House with a few crosswords, some books and three weeks worth of episodes of his favorite podcast.
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Over the course of the next 15 hours, during which time Sanderlin would consume nine waffles, thousands of people would tune in to follow along with his adventure via Twitter.
At one point, Sanderlin shared a screenshot of his Week Eight fantasy lineup where Wentz was proudly featured at the top of the lineup:
I found my roster from like week 8 or whatever. Just not good. Also, I am definitely puking soon pic.twitter.com/L7l2xFmUF9
— Lee Sanderlin (@LeeOSanderlin) June 18, 2021
Unfortunately for Sanderlin, Wentz is highly susceptible to injuries: He suffered a torn ACL in 2017, a broken back in 2018 and a concussion in 2019.
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This past season, Wentz led the league in interceptions thrown, turnovers and sacks taken. He was benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts in December, after the Eagles lost to the Green Bay Packers.
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Wentz officially signed with the Colts on March 17 and is reportedly performing well. Head coach Frank Reich said he is feeling "much better" about the decision to take Wentz in a recent interview.
Over the course of the night, Sanderlin struggled. The cakelike consistency of a Waffle House waffle began to feel more like concrete.
Ultimately, though, he remembered the wise words of Miley Cyrus in "The Climb": "I gotta be strong / Just keep pushing on."
At 7.06 a.m. Central, Sanderlin finally left Waffle House. He said he tipped the staff well, and reported that he is "never eating waffles again."
Contact IndyStar Pulliam Fellow Claire Rafford at [email protected] or on Twitter @clairerafford
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This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts QB Carson Wentz helped land a Mississippi journalist in a Waffle House for 15 hours
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