James Leroy Wilson's blog

Monday, February 27, 2006

Pass Interference

I found out that the Arena Football League has two kinds of pass interference penalties. One is a ten-yarder, and the other is at the spot of the foul. Think of the NFL's five-yard and fifteen-yard face mask fouls. One is incindental of the facemask which is still a no-no, the other is stiffer because it is deemed to be deliberate.

It's a fascinating idea to apply it to pass interference. The NFL's pass interference penalty on the defense is very harsh -- the offense gets a first down at the spot of the foul, or at the one yard line if the interference occurred in the end zone. Thus, one referee's reluctance to call "ticky-tack" contact, and another's strict adherence to the rules, can both decide the outcome of games. But what if, instead, a ten (or fifteen) yard penalty was called on the defense when the defender makes illegal contact with the receiver when playing the ball, and a "spot at the foul" penalty when the defender's clear purpose is not to play the ball, but to prevent the receiver from making the catch?

In other words, not all pass interference is created equal, and shouldn't be treated as such. Contact made with the receiver when both the receiver and defender are both looking back at the pass is different from contact made when the defender knows he's beat and his only chance of preventing a touchdown is tripping up the receiver.

I'm not saying the NFL should make this distinction. All I'm saying is that it should be brought to the table for discussion, if it hasn't been already.

Take Your Hat Off

The fourth installment of Blair Warren's Forbidden Keys is up, but will probably be down in a day or two.

Everybody Wins

What a surprise. A twenty-something professional singer/dancer beats a forty-something retired football player in a dance contest. Really, however, the trophy doesn't matter. The big winner was Stacy Kiebler -- appearing and excelling on Dancing With the Stars was a great career move for her. Drew Lachey's career also advances, as does Jerry Rice's marketability.

Over My Dead Body

Amusing fact (hey, it's from Wikipedia, so it must be true!): the New Residence dormitory at the University of Ottawa isn't even the newest on campus. It was to be named for alumnist Alex Trebek, but when asked he said "Not until I'm dead" so for seven years the nameless building has been waiting for the game show host, who's only 65, to die.

It would be fitting tribute, when the event does occur, that the building is named in the form of a question. Not "Alex Trebek Residence," but perhaps, "Who is Alex Trebek? Residence" or "What is Alex Trebek Residence."

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