Stupid Questions #4: Why Can’t They Do That?

The flag.
The symbol of power for the ref, as he stands poised to throw it at any little thing.
The bane of existence for every coach as plays are usurped by penalties.
The consistent annoyance for fans as games are slowed down considerably, or even outcomes are altered by calls on the field.

Too many to know
Earlier this week I was listening to NFL Radio while the hosts and listeners argued bitterly about a play. No one could agree because there were too many rules involved. Obscure rules exist to cover every situation. And the NFL handbook words every rule as complexly as possible.

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That’s just Article one of, like, eleven, about touchdowns!

There are some really common penalties you’ll see from those pesky men in stripes, though.

Here are the basics …

Clipping: He hit that guy below the waist from behind. Now the play has to back up 15 yards!

Holding: He totally just grabbed that guy’s jersey!

Intentional Grounding: Ha! The quarterback just got scared. He couldn’t pass to anyone, or run it himself, so he just threw the ball on the ground. You can’t do that!

Offsides: That dude was beyond the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. It doesn’t matter that it was his pinky toe! It’s still offsides.

Pass Interference: Did you see that dude on defense? He was pushing and pulling on the receiver so he couldn’t catch the ball! I mean it’s one thing to jump in front and try to catch the ball yourself, but you can’t just be a jerk about it.

Personal Foul: Yeah, I know this is football, but you can’t punch people, or knock into people on the sidelines, or pile onto people who are already down. Like, this is a violent sport, but people still want to get up and go home afterwards, y’know?

Are you confused by any penalties? Which ones are overused? Underused? Let me know in comments!

Hugs and loves!

(Except for Ed Hochuli. No hugs and loves for him. I feel like if he hugged me, my head would pop off).

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5 responses to “Stupid Questions #4: Why Can’t They Do That?

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