Great Middle School Football Play!

I saw this on the local news.  Middle School and High School football are a big deal in Texas, but this play is good enough that it might make national news as well:

On the news they interviewed a number of people about whether this is legal or not. The men (including several refs) all said it was perfectly fine; there is no rule against it.  At least one woman they asked was very troubled by it, even when told it was allowed under the rules.  I think this might be one of those cases which demonstrates the different perspectives men and women have about justice.

Either way a pretty funny and smart play.

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10 Responses to Great Middle School Football Play!

  1. doghair says:

    Was this done under false pretense? If so, while it might be a legal play, it is not good sportsmanship. I was going to rant about the need to teach young men the importance of personal honor via sports, but honor has little value these days.

  2. ExNewYorker says:

    Looks similar to the “hidden baseball” trick we all tried to pull at some point in little league.

    Cool play…

  3. Lavazza says:

    That a bit like taking a quick free kick in soccer when the opposing team thaink that a free kick specialist will take a shot directly at the goal and they want to form a wall and wait for the whistle.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/c/chelsea/4091217.stm

    Many teams have wised up and an opposing player will stand close to the ball, in the direction a quick free kick will most likely be taken, to be able to hear from the referee if the free kick player will take a quick free kick or not.

    In the video I guess the opposing team thinks that the referee has called a foul or something. Is there a penalty for taking the “better safe than sorry” approach, if the referee has actually called a foul, but it is not clear to everybody involved?

    In soccer attacking players are sometimes given a card when they score even though the referee has blown the whistle for a foul or an offside.

  4. I am not... says:

    Funny play.

    Perhaps rather than being different perspectives about justice, this shows different perspectives about sport. I don’t think most men would condone that kind of trick in the workplace, or while driving, or whatever. But we tend to take sport very seriously, and say it’s OK to do anything to win within the rules, regardless of general codes of conduct (like “don’t trick people”). I think in the male psyche, sport really is codified war. Whereas women tend to treat sport much less seriously, as just a pastime like any other, so you shouldn’t trick people or try to bend the rules. It is female pressure that has led to this fad of not keeping score in youth sport.

    I think you can see this clearly when women play sport against their friends – they go easy on each other, because they are friends. Whereas when men compete against their friends, they play hard – essentially they aren’t friends while competing, but they’re friends again afterwards. Famously, almost all matches between Venus and Serena Williams have been terrible, because they find it hard to try and beat each other. Whereas if I were a pro tennis player, I know I would play extra hard against my brother.

  5. Dream Puppy says:

    That was really cute. What a great moment in that kid’s life!

  6. Nutz says:

    Always ALWAYS play to the whistle.

  7. Badger Nation says:

    The youth league I coach in prohibits this sort of play, plays that use uncertainty to induce the defense to think the ball is not going to be snapped or are otherwise judged to be unsportsmanlike.

    When I was coaching JV, we had a play like this and one ref told us he wouldn’t let us run it because it was excessively deceptive for the level of kids playing (it’s standard to let refs know about trick plays so they don’t get tricked themselves).

    I did not agree with him then, but I do now – changing the snap count, shifting players, misdirection are all ways of playing the chess game. But to induce the opponent to relax by pretending the play isn’t going to happen at all, I think is just a shi**y thing to do to some kids who are trying to have fun playing and learning football. It’s a true “trick,” and I think outside the bounds of what we need to be teaching kids in terms of basic football.

    Reasonable men will have differing opinions on the fairness of the play. “Macho” men will probably act like bullies, “if it works run it and F ’em f they can’t take a joke!” I think you are correct that women will probably be very negative about it.

    Not sure who’s coaching these kids, though – every day I teach my players if the center moves the football at all to kill whoever is across from you on the line. I’d never run a play like this in a game but I would show it to my team in practice to get them used to the idea of going on the center’s movement.

  8. Saint Louis says:

    I don’t really have a problem with it (I’m a man, by the way). I think it’s a great learning experience for the kids on the opposing team. Sure it’s a trick play, but so is a flea flicker, so is a play action pass to some extent. Granted, it’s trickier than the norm; where do we draw the line? Simple. The lines have already been drawn; they’re written in the rulebook.

    Someone mentioned that instead of a difference between men and women’s concepts of justice (which is very real, by the way), it could just be that men are more serious about sports. But it could just as easily cut the other way. Only people who don’t ultimately recognize that it’s just a game will get super worked up about this. What’s the worst that comes from this? The kids on the defense are a little embarrassed? They learn a new lesson about following the whistle? No one was hurt. No one had money riding on it.

  9. Justin says:

    That play will work exactly once.

  10. I bet you that kid is already being recruited to Boise State:-)

    Sports have always been a combination of the physical and the mental, so when you get screwed over on the mental, even when you are the superior athlete, feelings tend to get hurt lol, especially because so many people nowadays focus only on the physical

    I mean look at the NFL – the draft combine, essentially one big workout, determines if an athlete gets to play. People with stellar college careers sometimes never see a professional snap. Timmy Chang – the all time NCAA leader in passing yards, is nowhere to be seen. Sometimes teams give stellar but physically intimidating athletes a chance, with great results (Wes Welker), but those examples are few and far between.

    The physicality in football is in fact so prevalent that every rule change is met with massive amounts of protest from “purists”. Can you imagine football without the forward pass?

    But innovators continue to thrive. Ever hear of the A-11 offense in football?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-11_offense

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