Blog Entry

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

Posted on: August 28, 2009 10:38 am
Edited on: August 28, 2009 5:50 pm


The scoreboard at the Dallas Cowboys new stadium remains an issue for 2009.

The NFL sent out a memo to its teams Friday notifying them of a change in rules for the 2009 season relating to the video board.
The memo stated that after consulting with the Competition Committee and NFL staff, the commissioner said the following will be in effect for all remaining preseason, regular season, and postseason games of the 2009 season:

---If a ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam, or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately, and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.  

---If there is not an on-field ruling that the ball struck an object, the Replay Assistant is empowered to initiate a booth review, including if the event occurs prior to the two-minute warning.  If, prior to the two-minute warning, no booth review is initiated by the Replay Assistant, a coach’s challenge is permitted under the customary procedures for such a challenge.  

---In the event the down is replayed:

(a)  The game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred.

(b)  All penalties will be disregarded, except for personal fouls which will be administered prior to replaying the down.

OK, so what happens if a player gets hurt on one of those meaningless punts. Say your top gunner blows out a knee while covering a play that doesn't count? Can't wait for that uproad.

But in fairness to Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, the board is 90 feet above the playing surface. The NFL mandates it be 85 feet. That's why there is no change. If it was under 85, you can bet the NFL would have made Jones change it.

The interesting thing will be if punters now go out and try and hit it. It will be like overcooking a driver on the golf course. We know how that works.

Category: NFL

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: August 29, 2009 12:18 pm

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

It's one thing to a kick a football 90 ft straight up but to ask your QB to throw it 90 ft straight up with shoulder pads on is something completely differentI know dude, but I'm just sayin' could happen.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: August 29, 2009 10:27 am

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

The sky cam is usually behind the offense,  so if the QB turns around and throws it at the camera he better hit it or it's a live ball(that would be a funny play to see... the XFL all over again). Could you imagine a QB turning his back to the on coming rush to try and hit the camera, especially when the play is already breaking down ...Yikes! It would be funny to see someone try it and shatter the camera into a thousand pieces though.  The only place this would work is in Cowboys Stadium- to try and hit the scoreboard because its huge and stationary, where as the camera is going to be a moving target. It's one thing to a kick a football 90 ft straight up but to ask your QB to throw it 90 ft straight up with shoulder pads on is something completely different. Being a Cowboy fan I would like to see someone other than Tony Romo try it.  If your pulling a "scoreboard" play out of your playbook things aren't going well.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: August 29, 2009 1:50 am

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

2 things.....

On the point Prisco so stupidly brings up about "injuries on a meaningless punt" and how the league should feel about it, I just want to say this. Anytime there is an accepted penalty, aren't those pretty much a dead play? And if somebody gets injured during those plays should the NFL be concerned? I don't think so. The NFL has been around for umpteen million years with penalties and NOBODY has ever complained about somebody getting hurt on a dead play because of penalties. Prisco is a moron for even bringing it up.

Second, I want to know what is to stop a kicker from booting it into the scoreboard on purpose just to get a re-do? I mean if he has to scramble a bit to avoid a would-be blocker couldn't he just punt it up in the air in hopes of hitting the scoreboard and then get another chance to get a better kick? And for that matter, what if a QB is trying to avoid a sack and launches it at the skycam and hits it on purpose? Does he get a re-do just because of this new rule? One could argue that the QB could get outside the tackle box and just toss it out of boundsto avoid the sack. But if he hits the skycam or a guide wire for the sky cam he gets the down back and the time back on the clock.

I would be willing to bet that teams are going to start doing drills at practices for these situations. Any takers? 

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: August 29, 2009 1:06 am

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

A good punt doesn't hit the scoreboard. If your punter hits the scoreboard...too bad.  What a bunch of meaningless whining.  The last time I saw this much whining about nothing the issue was baseball's instant replay.  Guess what? It rarely happens and it didn't ruin baseball.  The same will be true of punts hitting the will rarely happen in a game.   

Since: Jun 5, 2008
Posted on: August 28, 2009 11:20 pm

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

What happens if on the re-do the punt is now blocked.  How is that fair to the team that got off a good punt but had to re-kick because it hit a scoreboard.  Why has nobody brought this up.   

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2009 8:49 pm

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

Well, hockey areas all have scoreboards in the middle of them (I think all of them do anyway).  So as long as there are competent civil and structural engineers on hand, no worries...wait...didn't their practice facility have issues?  Didn't this stadium have issues a year ago?  Ooops.

What if the scoreboard falls on Tony Romo and the entire offensive line.  What type of 3rd "person" statement will Jerry Jones make then?  "The Dallas Cowboys are extremely sorry and upset, the Dallas Cowboys worst fears were realized, this is the darkest day for the Dallas Cowboys but the Dallas Cowboys will survive this horrible tragedy..."

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2009 5:57 pm

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

"Scoreboardgate" lives on

Guess they also need to fix "Can't wait for that uproad"

Misspelling a word in a post is acceptable to me, but to have two typos in a professionally written piece isn't.

What I want to know is where did you find a professionally written piece?

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: August 28, 2009 4:15 pm

create a true ground rule

I can understand that Jerry Jones and the NFL don't want to go to all the trouble, at least not this season, of raising the video board so that punts striking it will happen in an exceptional case instead of every other time. If a punter knows he can hit the video board on every other punt and/or the returner knows the gunners can get gassed each time a punt hits the scoreboard, then it alters the outcome of special teams play and causes teams to adopt strategies to deal with the video board as part of special teams play and eventually an advantage for the home team.

Have the guts to create a true ground rule so the league can at least somewhat control those variables in special teams play:

-Assume that a punt made high enough to strike a video board would likely be covered by the kicking team and a "fair catch" by the receiving team.-Have the review booth in charge in watching punts in real time so they can buzz officials on field to blow whistles to stop play immediately.-Have officials mark the distance from the spot of the punt to the spot of contact on the video board, similar to the way officials would know the spot of the ball after a missed Field Goal and the spot of a punt going out of bounds. Officials note the game clock at the time the ball strikes the video board.
-To simulate the result of the end of an unobstructed punt received by a "fair catch":-The distance of the punt from foot to video board will be doubled and the official will spot the ball accordingly, for punt distance. -The clock operator will do a :03 runoff from the time the game clock was frozen at the time the ball struck the video board, for punt time.
-To offset advantage gained by kicking team by the ground rule, other than a punt return:- If punt subject to ground rule is the final play of a quarter, the receiving team will have the option of playing one untimed down.- If receiving team is eligible to attempt a field goal in accordance to the "fair catch kick" rule, they shall be allowed to do so.

Granted, this rule isn't perfect, but it is better than letting the teams take advantage of the physical situations and tactical strategies that can be applied dealing with a repeated punt attempt that may or may not itself need a "do-over".

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: August 28, 2009 4:08 pm

What happens if a player gets hurt?

The he automatically goes into the hall of fame as the fastest man on the planet.  It takes about 1.5 seconds for the ball to go from the foot to the videoboard and if a player manages to get downfied in that amount of time before the play is blown dead, kudos to him.  And if that player got hurt wouldn't it have happened do-over or not?

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 28, 2009 2:20 pm

"Scoreboardgate" lives on FOR FOOLS

Still can't understand how a punter about to be cut finds a way to put his name on every GM mind and people can't see it. The board is above the league set guideline but the true great idea is how to make yourself the go-to punter on the waiver wire. One NY based writer even said the Giants punter would be hurt by this because he kicks higher than the Dallas punter, even though NFL network listed the Dallas punter in the top 4 in hang time and the Gieants punter middle of the road. The true game day issue is not the punter but rather the returner who has to follow the punt in the air UNDER the board and will claim it hit the board if he muffs the catch. Fools still run with this while Jeff Fisher has to alter his tone in light of the fact that he is on the group that set the 85 foot level in the first place.

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