FanDuel - WFBC

December 02, 2012

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 37 comments

Evidentally Wisconsin wanted to show how the NCAA Div. 1 football ranking system may be a bit flawed.

posted by dyams at 07:16 AM on December 02

RIP Rick Majerus.

posted by beaverboard at 08:41 AM on December 02

A block with an attempt to injure in the Wisconsin/Nebraska game.

posted by grum@work at 10:48 AM on December 02

The quarterback play between the Jets and Cardinals is making it really hard for me to believe that there is no place for Tim Tebow in the NFL as a quarterback.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:00 PM on December 02

I just witnessed THE worst call of roughing the passer I've ever seen in the Rams/Niners game. The Rams lineman literally just touched the quarterback and was flagged 15 yards and an automatic first down. Close game the league must want to make sure SF wins. Pathetic.

posted by dyams at 03:14 PM on December 02

Close game the league must want to make sure SF wins. Pathetic.

Ref makes a call I don't like = THE FIX IS IN!

As someone who cheered for a team that saw a rule-mandated call ignored during a deciding game, where the offending player then scored in overtime, not even I think the fix was in.

posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on December 02

Wasn't really serious with that, but I'll make sure I make that clear in the future. It was a horribly pathetic call though that could have meant the difference in a close game.

posted by dyams at 04:45 PM on December 02

Yet another painful loss by the Lions. Last season was a tease.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:59 PM on December 02

Greg Zuerlein is a beast of a kicker, but if David Stern was commissioner of the NFL, the Rams and 49ers would never, ever be allowed to play each other again.

posted by beaverboard at 05:24 PM on December 02

Zuerlein might push or pull a kick here and there, but he has plenty of distance from practically anywhere on the field. The 57 yarder he tried and missed a bit right flew into the stands.

posted by dyams at 05:50 PM on December 02

Greg McElroy winning that game is so perfect.

posted by feloniousmonk at 07:01 PM on December 02

Dyams, let's not forget the safety that wasn't actually a safety and helmet to helmet 15 yarder that wasn't helmet to helment but let the Rams drive for the tying field goal.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:51 PM on December 02

That intent to injure call the game Grum linked is a joke. What the fuck is he supposed to, ask the guy kindly not to make the touchdown-saving tackle?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:09 PM on December 02

The rule re: intentional grounding and how a ball thrown out of bounds, not making it back to the line of scrimmage, BUT the distance the ball travels after going out of bounds counting is one of the most ridiculous rules I have ever heard. What other situation in football takes into account how far a ball travels out of bounds? That was the situation on the safety (and unless someone was watching the game they probably don't know what the hell we're talking about).

The hit on Bradford that wasn't helmet-to-helmet was still, in my opinion, hitting a defenseless QB after he had given himself up. They tried to make the argument the defender was had already committed and couldn't stop, but it looked as if he was looking to make a hit on a sliding player.

The play/penalty I mentioned involved practically no contact whatsoever. Nobody could see a single thing.

posted by dyams at 10:33 PM on December 02

It was a horribly pathetic call

There were a number of horribly pathetic calls in that game. The call you pointed out, a huge phantom roughing the passer on Bradford that allowed the Rams to tie the game, the safety that wasn't a safety ... it was a poorly officiated game.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:49 PM on December 02

That intent to injure call the game Grum linked is a joke. What the fuck is he supposed to, ask the guy kindly not to make the touchdown-saving tackle?

Well, he didn't have to try to injure the guy.

I don't mind if he steps in front of him and flattens the blocker (by knocking him down), but since the kid was going to be blind-sided I don't think crouching down and jumping up and into him was necessary (1:07-110).

He knew the guy was completely defenceless, and tried to knock the guy out with the hit.

That was pretty much the definition of "unnecessary roughness".

It's the same reasoning why a defender gets a penalty if they grab a running back and then try to slam him down on his head.

posted by grum@work at 12:38 AM on December 03

What other situation in football takes into account how far a ball travels out of bounds?

A ball carrier heading toward the pylon can score a touchdown by breaking the plane of the endzone by diving past it out of bounds so long as he crosses it before touching out of bounds.

I did not see your game, so I have no idea on the safety call. Based on what you've written, I think I'd probably agree with you.

posted by bender at 08:47 AM on December 03

And I completely agree with grum on the unnecessary roughness. There are plenty of ways to block a guy who does not know you are coming without lifting him off of his feet.

posted by bender at 08:49 AM on December 03

The rules are the rules, whether they make sense or not, and one expects NFL referees to know and enforce them. That they didn't was the whole to do about the replacement refs earlier this season, wasn't it?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:08 PM on December 03

A ball carrier heading toward the pylon can score a touchdown by breaking the plane of the endzone by diving past it out of bounds so long as he crosses it before touching out of bounds.

In that case the ball needs to cross the goal line, inside the pylon.

In this situation yesterday, say the line of scrimmage is the team's own 10 yard line. A quarterback throwing the ball out of bounds to avoid a sack/safety heaves the ball and it goes out of bounds at the 5. If that ball keeps traveling, out of bounds, and goes into the stands at the 15 or 20 yard line counts as a pass making it back to the line of scrimmage. That seems like a crazy rule.

It's almost like saying a punter who kicks the ball out of bounds can kick a ball at crosses the sideline at say, the other team's 30, but because he launched it so far out of bounds, the other team gets the ball at the 15.

Don't really know if anyone follows this, but I tried.

posted by dyams at 05:06 PM on December 03

In that case the ball needs to cross the goal line, inside the pylon.

That was not always the case, but it appears that this rule was changed in 2007. Previously, you could dive out of bounds with the ball and only some part of your body had to pass through the air space of the endzone. Who knew?

As for your safety question, I agree that it seems somewhat dubious to count out of bounds yardage on a pass to avoid intentional grounding, but I suspect this is for practicality of enforcement:

1. Unlike on a punt where the officials can position themselves in good locations to spot a ball going out of bounds, it would be difficult to accurately determine where a pass went out of bounds. That's not to say that it would always be the case, but it is preferable to reduce the gray area. 2. If the intent of the across-the-LOS stipulation when allowing the QB to throw the ball away once out of the pocket is to show that he is not so under duress as to not be able to accomplish this, throwing the ball across the line of scrimmage out of bounds actually satisfies this. Since there is no target receiver, the sideline becomes a fairly arbitrary boundary.

posted by bender at 05:43 PM on December 03

It's a bad rule, but because it is written that way the call was blown costing the 49ers 2 points.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:30 PM on December 03

It's the same reasoning why a defender gets a penalty if they grab a running back and then try to slam him down on his head.

No, it's completely different. A guy slamming another guy's head into the turf is an intentional attempt to injure someone that has nothing to do with the play.

That was a clean block where the blocker removed the defender who was about to make the tackle. Stop the film and the blocker doesn't leap at him, he sets himself and throws his body into the effort to, you know, make sure he makes the block.

There are plays such as this where the only way the blocker can be sure to remove the would-be tackler is going to flatten him. It's physics, not intent, and I'd like to see football realize that, in the same fashion it would be nice if the powers that be would realize that the head does not extend to the shoulders and chest and stop calling everything that looks remotely close as a hit to the head.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:58 AM on December 04

Stop the film and the blocker doesn't leap at him, he sets himself and throws his body into the effort

I'm not sure how you can throw your body without jumping/leaping.

There are plays such as this where the only way the blocker can be sure to remove the would-be tackler is going to flatten him. It's physics, not intent,

That's bull.

If he simply steps in front of him and hits him shoulder to chest (without crouching and leaping before hand), he absolutely flattens the guy (lands on his back and knocks the wind out of him) and the runner doesn't end up going head over heels.

When basketball players throw a hard pick, they don't need to crouch down and leap into the opponent to flatten him.

I don't know how you can say that leaping into a runner (who isn't carrying the ball) from a blind-side isn't considered "unnecessary" roughness.

posted by grum@work at 09:15 AM on December 04

There are plays such as this where the only way the blocker can be sure to remove the would-be tackler is going to flatten him.

Blockers deter would-be tacklers all the time without resorting to an attempted decapitation.

posted by rcade at 10:27 AM on December 04

I'm not sure how you can throw your body without jumping/leaping.

Watch the video again and you'll see it just fine.

If he simply steps in front of him and hits him shoulder to chest (without crouching and leaping before hand), he absolutely flattens the guy (lands on his back and knocks the wind out of him) and the runner doesn't end up going head over heels.

First off, again, he doesn't leap. He drives up and into him, the way you're taught to block -- extend with the hips and explode into the player. Using the forearm is fine. And you're right -- the blocker could let up and just try and cut the guy off. He could also completely fuck up the block that way and not do his job.

I understand why you guys feel this way -- it's an ugly result. But this is not Warren Sapp cheapshotting Chad Clifton 30 yards from the play, and the announcer in the clip even points out the same thing. As stopping the video at 1:09 shows, this is a blocker putting his shoulder in the shoulder and chest of a would-be tackler in a completely legal manner.

Blockers deter would-be tacklers all the time without resorting to an attempted decapitation.

Unless you are now counting the body down damned near to the waist as the "head," calling this an attempted decapitation is just sensationalism.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:42 AM on December 04

Here's the discussion at Deadspin. Seems divided pretty equally.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:58 AM on December 04

And you're right -- the blocker could let up and just try and cut the guy off. He could also completely fuck up the block that way and not do his job.

He didn't even have to touch him to free up his teammate from pressure. If he only crossed the path of the chaser, it would have broken his stride and the ball carrier would have been home free. He could have leaned in with his shoulder and simply spun the player. He could have stepped in front and forced the guy to go around him.

He drives up and into him, the way you're taught to block -- extend with the hips and explode into the player.

It's the crouch that I have a problem with. When you start in a crouch and extend upwards and hit a guy in the upper body, you're not trying to stop someone. You're trying to launch him.

Look how he's strutting immediately after the hit. That wasn't an attempt to throw a "good block". It was an attempt to throw a devastating, blind-side, cart-him-off-the-field, highlight-reel hit.

He even knows a few seconds later that he's done something wrong as he's telling his teammates to "cool it" when they want to celebrate with him.

It was unnecessary.

Here's the discussion at Deadspin. Seems divided pretty equally.

I can't seem to see any comments on that page. Do you need a login id to read them?

posted by grum@work at 11:24 AM on December 04

No, you probably have an ad blocker or something that's preventing them from appearing (for me I had to shut Ghostery off on Gawker sites to see comments).

posted by yerfatma at 11:30 AM on December 04

You're going to have to explain to me how you can explode your hips without crouching a bit.

And unless you have a completely different video from me, you'll also have to point out the strutting. Where is it? He levels the guy and walks toward the sideline. Walking = strutting?

I dunno about the Deadspin comments, but I'm guessing yerfatma is right (he usually is). The best one I've seen so far boils down to people trying to legislate the violence out of a violent game. I agree with that and I just wonder how the hell you can hit someone legally and still have it be unnecessary?

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:11 PM on December 04

Unless you are now counting the body down damned near to the waist as the "head," calling this an attempted decapitation is just sensationalism.

Check out the replay at the :30 second mark. He hits him helmet-to-helmet (after the initial shoulder) and throws an elbow into his chin.

Kenny Bell wasn't just trying to block Devin Smith. He was trying to light him up.

posted by rcade at 12:25 PM on December 04

You can advance the video pretty much frame-by-frame. Watch Devin Smith's head -- how is it bouncing toward Bell if he's hitting him in the helmet?

The video shows Bell's shoulder hitting Smith's chest and head, and then the elbow following through on the chest. He never touches his head.

As for trying to trying to "light him up," well, no shit. You can light a player up legally and cleanly. This is a video demonstration of it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:30 PM on December 04

That was a brutal hit but I don't see how that's illegal or unnecessary. I'm not terribly surprised that it was called since any play where there's a big hit and someone gets hurt is just going to draw a flag even if the hit was clean. I've just accepted that if you want to hit really hard you are risking a penalty.

posted by tron7 at 03:21 PM on December 04

Actually this seems like a video demonstration of what we'll someday (fairly soon, probably) call "the way football used to be." And that's fine with me, because I'm okay with it becoming a different sport where things like that don't happen.

posted by Uncle Toby at 03:24 PM on December 04

That's where I'm at too, Toby. The entertainment value of a decapitating hit is impossible to divorce from the real world any more.

posted by rcade at 04:55 PM on December 04

The video shows Bell's shoulder hitting Smith's chest and head, and then the elbow following through on the chest. He never touches his head.

Clarification, please.

If he hit him in the head with his shoulder, and it was a blind-side hit...

posted by grum@work at 05:00 PM on December 04

The clarification is it was a mistake on my part -- not sure why I typed that. The blocker never makes contact with Smith's head. Watch the video frame-by-frame and see if you come to a different conclusion, although I don't know how you could.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:49 PM on December 05

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