Sean Padden: From viral sensation to late night rematch

Collin Bryant | Sports Writer

Baylor football has been plagued with negative publicity over the last three years. However, thanks to a stunt by Associate athletic director for football operations, Sean Padden, the program has seen a positive moment of attention.

On Aug. 4, at the conclusion of practice, Padden raced and defeated a tackling dummy.

Padden jumped out to a quick start with his human reflexes, allowing him to get off the blocks immediately. He then cruised the remainder of the race, earning a victory over the machine. However, after the end of the race, Padden was put down by the robot, who proclaimed revenge over Padden.

When asked why he decided to race the machine, Padden said that he wasn’t just doing it for the team, but for all of humanity.

“I did it for humanity,” Padden said. “That’s a warning out there, because the machines aren’t going to fight fair.”

Padden later eluded to the influence of the Terminator films to explain his motivation.

“I just wanna say that it was man versus machine,” Padden said. “I think back to Sarah Connor versus the Terminator, Garry Kasparov versus Big Blue, Ken Jennings versus Watson, John Henry versus that steam engine.”

Padden’s collision with the dummy ultimately landed him an Aug. 17 spot on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. After showing the video in it’s beginning stages before it went viral, audience member Greg Hummel, through the shows suggestion box called for a rematch between Padden and the tackling dummy.

“Hey Jimmy, last week you showed a video of coach getting knocked over by a robotic tackling dummy,” Hummel said. “That dummy was the clear winner, but do you think you can give that coach a rematch?”

After describing the incident for the audience, Fallon decided that Padden deserved another chance.

“The assistant coach for Baylor football, his name is Sean Padden, he raced a tackling dummy and ended up winning,” Fallon said. “But then the dummy, it was like a remote-control dummy and snuck up behind him. Let’s give him another shot.”

Egged on by a New York crowd and Fallon himself, Padden was once again victorious. This victory was met with less resistance from his adversary.

But then Fallon pulled the trick out this time around, having a stuffed Padden hit in the head with a cartoon anvil and being attacked by a German Shepherd. Following one more check in with Fallon, Padden gave the thumbs up to the late night crowd before being knocked out once more by the tackling dummy.

With more than 41,000 views off his Jimmy Fallon YouTube video alone, the associate director is already being credited for more than his football administrative ability this season.