Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Holding Isn't Legal, Stealing Is?

My June 28 post showed football players stretching the rules by holding.  I suggested that rule-stretching is a time-honored custom in sports and sometimes is worthy of applause, not criticism.  This train of thought reminded me of a remarkable play by Outlaws number forty, Dorothy Hines. 

Dorothy is a linebacker.  Linebackers are some of my favorite people because they have a mixture of responsibilities.  Sometimes down and dirty tackling close to the line of scrimmage.  Sometimes blitzing.  Sometimes pass defending in the secondary.  This particular play had Dorothy playing pass defense.  Rather than spend a lot of words I'll show you what happened...

Dallas receiver #14 catching a pass.  You can just see Dorothy,
partially hidden from view by Dallas #88 

This is a game against the Dallas Fury in 2008.  One of my favorite Dallas players is #88 - I wish I could remember her name.  (See my posting - "A Personal Note" for a reminder of my terrible memory.)  Number 88 partially blocks our view.

In this play Dallas #14 just caught a pass from the Dallas Quarterback for a gain of 10 or 15 yards to the Dallas forty yard line.  Mostly concealed from our view by #88, Dorothy is moving in to...

...well, watch.

It appears Dorothy is attempting a tackle - and not a very good one.
But really she has something totally different in mind.

Recalling the play Dorothy said she was "upset with myself!" in this game.  She had missed a few tackles (unusual for her) and she wanted to make up for it.  So instead of going for the tackle, she went for the ball.  The Dallas receiver did a spin move, Dorothy did a spin move...
It looks as though the Dallas receiver is handing the ball off to
Dorothy, and Dorothy says that's how it felt.

And just like that Dorothy had the ball.  Dorothy says when she took the ball it was almost as though the Dallas player was handing it off to her.  Actually Dorothy is strong and just wrestled the ball from the grasp of #14.  Outlaws' Monica Gauck was playing in the defensive backfield.  One of Dorothy's impressions of the play was the expression on Monica's face.  Monica later exclaimed, "You never were going for the tackle!"

Dorothy running the ball back into Dallas territory while Dallas staff watches in shock and dismay.

Ball in hand Dorothy heads back the other way.  In the photo I love the expressions of the Dallas coaching staff on the far sideline.  They can't believe what is happening.  One coach is down on one knee, face to the ground, hand covering his eyes.  Dorothy is ruining his day. 

Dorothy moving the ball into Dallas territory, with #14 in pursuit.

The play ends with Dorothy the thief being pursued by her victim until she's run out of bounds around the Dallas thirty yard line.  In my previous post I said there is a penalty for holding. If you get caught. 

There is no penalty for stealing the ball from the opposition.  In fact it can be kind of fun.  Ask Dorothy.

No comments: