Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Death of the Fumblerooski

If you haven't heard the news, the football rules committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations has decided to ban the "fumblerooski." The trick play, outlawed in the NFL in the early 1960s and banned in college football in 1993, was a favorite of former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, who used the risky play numerous times with surprising success. In the 1984 Orange Bowl, Osborne called the fumblerooski with his team trailing Miami, 17-0. Outland and Lombardi trophy winner Dean Steinkuhler rumbled for a 19-yard touchdown that rejuvenated the Cornhuskers, and although Nebraska eventually lost, 31-30, Steinkuhler's place in fame was secure. So why was the fumblerooski banned? According to Jerry Diehl, the assistant director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, the play was an officiating nightmare. Diehl said because the referee had to be informed before the play was run, it created an unnecessary burden to a crew. Diehl told the L.A. Times that banning the play "eliminates confusion in a ballgame."

No comments: