After watching the Washington Redskins lose to the New York football Giants, I got to see the end of the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Buccaneers games. Lucky me. The Bucs were losing, but they were driving towards the Saints’ end zone. Since I don’t like the Saints and the Bucs were wearing their awesome orange sherbet colored throwback uniforms, and I’m a big fan of throwback uniforms, I really wanted to see the Bucs win. With time expiring, the Bucs scored on a pass from Josh Freeman to Mike Williams in the back of the end zone. The back judge was standing very close to the play and signaled touchdown.
All the Bucs had to then do is score the extra point and they would force the game into overtime.
Not so fast. A penalty was called on the Bucs. The reason? Because Williams had been pushed out of bounds by a Saints defender and NFL rules state that Williams could not touch the ball unless someone else touched the ball first. Seriously, that’s an actual rule in the NFL. The reason the Saints defender wasn’t called for interference when she shoved the receiver out of bound was because when the shove took place, Freeman was outside the pocket.
It turns out you can shove a receiver if the quarterback is outside the pocket. Why is that even a rule?
The NFL makes football too hard to fallow. The fact that the announcing crew working the Saints-Buccaneers games didn’t know or remember any of this, speaks volumes. One of the announcers was John Lynch, a former NFL safety and he didn’t seem to know the rules as he was agreeing that Williams was a legal target because he came back out of bounds and established himself, whatever that means.
If a former NFL player and current announcer cannot keep the rules straight, how can an average sports fan?