Print and Go Back ESPN.com: 2009 [Print without images]

Friday, September 25, 2009
Too Short For A Column

By

"That blows!"

That being the lack of a rule barring NFL coaches from waiting until the last nanosecond to call a timeout, making the kicking team not only go through the entire FG for no reason but also scream with joy and hug like the game's over, because it isn't. They have to do it all again.

It's chintzy. It's bad theater. And it's unfair.

Imagine if this happened in any other sport. Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, 3-2 count, pitcher winds up, batter rips it over the left field fence, gets mobbed at home. Oops! Nope, the pitching team called a timeout seconds before it was released. Let's do it all again.

There's a simple fix. No team may call a timeout on a field goal attempt when the play clock is at less than five seconds.

They've fixed these kind of sneaky coaching tricks before.

Remember when players would fake injuries in the last two minutes of a half to save their team from using a timeout? Now you're charged a timeout if you have an injury in the last two minutes, faked or not.

Remember when linemen would purposely commit a false start in the final two minutes because time was running out and their team didn't have it together? Now 10 seconds are run off the clock.

Remember when Ken Stabler of the Oakland Raiders purposely fumbled forward so his own player could land on it in the end zone? Now, if a teammate recovers a fumble, it's a dead ball.

Roger: Do it now. You're welcome.

See all of Rick Reilly's Too Short for a Column More random mind dumps from the brain of Rick Reilly. Go fish! Be sure to check out Rick's Life of Reilly