9 Reasons Why the NCAA Needs to Legalize the Fumblerooski
By Jim Weber
Since I launched LostLettermen.com five years ago, I’ve been known to take on crusades for the betterment of college football, such as Texas State and Eastern Michigan changing their nicknames to Armadillos (a la Necessary Roughness) and Emus (get it? EMU Emus), respectively, and Hawaii installing a rainbow-colored turf named Roy G. Biv Field.
My newest pet project?
Getting the ‘Fumblerooski’ legalized again in college football after 22 years of unjustified extinction.
Sadly, college kids today weren’t even alive when the trick play to end all trick plays – in which a quarterback fumbles the ball on the center exchange and a guard picks it up and takes off – was outlawed in 1992 with a rule that states:“A player may not advance a planned loose ball in the vicinity of the snapper. ”
I present 9 reasons why it’s time to legalize the Fumblerooski again.
1. There’s nothing better than a Fat Guy Touchdown
Have you ever been watching a football game at a friend’s house or a bar when a lineman ends up with the ball and takes off rumbling? Everyone immediately gets to their feet and starts waving him home – even sometimes if said fat guy is playing against your favorite team.
2. It’s the most exciting play in football
With all due respect to Boise State’s trickery, nothing comes close to the excitement of the Fumblerooski. The guts it takes to call it, the confusion that ensues and the pandemonium when a lineman stumbles down the field simply can’t be recreated. If you recall, the NCAA banned college basketball’s most exciting play - the dunk - from 1967 to 1976, before finally coming to its senses. It’s past time to do the same with the Fumblerooski.
3. The knock-offs aren’t the same
There have been plenty of Fumblerooski knock-offs in the last two decades and while they are still fun, they don’t come close to the awesomeness of the original.
4. We now replay have in college football
Officials wanted the Fumblerooski banned because they couldn’t tell if it was a legal snap or not. Now that we have replay in college football with a million camera angles on the snap, this can be ruled a reviewable play and eradicate the issue.
5. It’s not cheating
Tapping into another team’s headsets is cheating. Laying the football on the ground completely unprotected is not. If the other team is too unaware to notice this, why should that be your problem? I call bullsh*t, NCAA.
6. It was invented by John Heisman
John Heisman is the most famous forefather in college football history whose name sits on the most prestigious award in American sports. Banning a play he invented without just cause is like spitting on the grave of a former U.S. President.
7. This is college football, not the NFL
Naturally, the “No Fun League” has banned the Fumblerooski since the 1960s. We love college football because everything about it – from the wide-open offenses to the pageantry to the student sections – is so much more exciting than Sundays. Let the NFL ban fun plays and fine players for wearing mismatching socks and allow us college fanatics to enjoy eye-searing uniforms, no-huddle offenses and the Fumblerooski.
8. It would be good PR for the NCAA
Face it, Mark Emmert: Between horribly botched investigations and being perceived as an evil cartel, the NCAA’s in serious need of good PR. Bringing back the Fumblerooski would lead to a chorus of, “Finally, the NCAA did something right!”
9. It’s 2014
That’s right, it’s 2014; people can legally enter into same-sex marriages and grow marijuana in their own homes, yet the Fumblerooski remains outlawed under one of the NCAA’s many draconian rules that recently included not allowing spreads on bagels for recruits.
Dear NCAA: Just once, can you get with the times?