Sunday, February 05, 2012

Another Potential Palpably Unfair Play

Bumping this after the Giants put 12 men on the field with 17 seconds left ...

Rex Ryan, on protecting against end-of-game punt returns like DeSean Jackson's:

I know my dad, I think they've changed the rules since then, but he used to have a punt team, in that exact situation, where I think he purposely put like 14 guys on the field. His thought was you punt the ball, they're not going to block it. You have 14 guys out there, they're not going to return it. Then when they penalize you, you just kneel on it, but you can't do that anymore. That was great. He actually, pulled it off in a game. They never caught it. I forget how many guys he had out there. He couldn't stand it. He had worked it for five years. He finally got to use it and then he had to tell everybody how smart he was and was fined like $10,000 [laughter].

Associated Press, February 5, 1990, reporting on Buddy Ryan's fine for using a 14-man "Polish Punt Team":

Philadelphia (AP) - The National Football League fined Eagles coach Buddy Ryan for deliberately using an illegal punt formation November 19 in the final seconds of a 10-9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, according to a report.

The Delaware County Sunday Times, citing an unnamed source close to the team, reported that Ryan was fined $3,500 for intentionally sending too many players onto the field, hoping to draw a penalty and run down the game clock....

In the game at Veterans Stadium, with 1:15 remaining, the Eagles took over the ball and tried to run out the clock. Quarterback Randall Cunningham went down on one knee for three downs and the Eagles took a delay of game penalty on the fourth, but 15 seconds still remained.

The Eagles were facing a fourth-and-22 from their own 24-yard line, and Ryan sent out his punt team, with a few extra players, according to the report.

Officials, apparently, did not notice the additional players and no penalty was called when the Eagles punted the ball.

The Vikings got the ball on their own 42-yard line with time for one play, but Eagles defensive back William Frizzell intercepted a Vikings pass to end the game.

Other potentially potential unfair plays, including the similar-in-concept Wisconsin all-offsides kickoff coverage, are described here.


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