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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Illegal Motion?

My wife loves this clip and it has grown on me. But I must ask the football-rules question: Is this Illegal Motion?

Posted by Howard Wasserman on December 15, 2009 at 03:45 PM in Culture, Howard Wasserman, Sports, Television | Permalink


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I have no idea what you people are talking about, but I'm happy to know that someone else loves Glee. I based my final exam on a heist pulled off by Will, Rachel, and Finn. Quinn winds up bashing Sue Sylvester over the head with a Cheerios trophy.

Posted by: Alafair Burke | Dec 18, 2009 10:47:42 AM

Penalty as currently choreographed (false start, delay of game). However, there have been interesting attempts to distract defenders in both basketball and football. For instance, one basketball team had a team member run to the corner of the court, go down to all fours and bark like a dog, and the distraction allowed a successful inbound play leading to a layup. In short, some changes to choreography could make this a legal and successful play. It won't be long before Paula Abdul is hired as Associate Head Coach for an NFL team.

Posted by: Former | Dec 16, 2009 2:16:03 PM

Probably excessive celebration as well assuming high school football has such a rule: "Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player (or players) attempts to focus attention upon himself (or themselves)."

Posted by: John | Dec 15, 2009 6:21:41 PM

Don't forget that during the dance several members of the offensive line crossed the line of scrimmage, which is a false start - as one commenter already posted.

More importantly, the dancing simply had to be a dream sequence - right?

Posted by: Art | Dec 15, 2009 6:03:12 PM

I think this is the answer (assuming NCAA rules which were the only ones I could find).

(a) The line takes a set position. The butt wagging would probably be a false start if it appeared to be movement initiating a play. If you had defensive players in place, they would come crashing across once they saw the movement, even if choreographed, seems to me would be a penalty.

(b) Assuming THAT wasn't a penalty, they come out of the set position as one, and without deception. I think that's legal.

(c) However, once they are out of the set, they cross the neutral zone during the dance, which I think is a penalty.

(d) And delay of game at some point.

But isn't the point that it's only five yards, and that has to be worth it?

Posted by: Jeff Lipshaw | Dec 15, 2009 5:24:40 PM

Also maybe delay of game?

Posted by: Glee Fan | Dec 15, 2009 4:33:39 PM

I'll play.

No, it's not an illegal motion: no one was moving toward the line of scrimmage at the time of the snap. It was a false start, however.

Posted by: Coach | Dec 15, 2009 4:19:16 PM

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