Friday, January 7, 2011
Jets assistant coach trips cheater running down the field out of bounds. It happens.
If you follow sports, you probably saw something on ESPN about how New York Jet's coach Sam Aliosi tripped Miami Dolphin player Nolan Carroll who was running down the field in punt coverage. Every single reporter and analyst on TV and radio that I heard cover this story made Sal out to be the worst person in the world for his subtle little trip with the knee as Carroll sped by.
Now I'm not a Jets fan, nor do I really care about what anyone thinks of Sal, but I saw the play happen and I've seen the replay a dozen times and you know what. I can understand why he did it. Nolan Carroll was cheating, breaking the NFL rule that says if you get pushed or shoved out of bounds, before you can continue the play, you first have to get back in bounds. You can't run down the sidelines out of bounds. The referees should have called him for "Kicking team player voluntarily out of bounds during a punt." 5-yard penalty, repeat 4th down.
Thats what Carroll was doing at the time of the trip. Running full speed down the field, a full yard out of bounds, on the far side of the wide sideline marker. He wasn't even shoved out of bounds. He made a beeline for out of bounds at the start of the play to avoid getting tangled with the two Jets blockers. Even if he had been shoved out, that isn't a license to run down the field out of bounds. Its not like in golf where you can play an entire hole from the wrong fairway!
I'm guessing Aliosi had watched Carroll, the gunner on the punt team, use this same cheating tactic on film from other games without the refs noticing or ever calling the penalty. This was a bit of vigilantiism brought on by a lack of enforcement of the rules by the authorities. Not saying I agree with what Sal did, but I understand.
I find it kind of strange that not one single sports writer, analyst, commentator, talk show host, etc. made it a point to say that what the Dolphin's player was doing at the time of the trip was illegal and should have been a penalty on the Dolphins. Because if the refs would actually call this infraction, coaches or players wouldn't get the dumb idea to do something about it themselves. Why have a rule and not enforce it?