December 21, 2010
Not much went wrong for the Chicago Bears on "Monday Night Football," but late in the first half the team's offense was involved in an amusing sequence in which it believed that a touchdown would stand despite multiple penalty flags on the field.
Hit play on the video clip and please follow along with our inner monologue as we watched the play live:
0:10 -- Snowball from the stands. Dear snow thrower: Expect Roger Goodell to bring out the guillotine if you're ever caught, sir.
[Video: Lingerie football game ends in big brawl ]
0:14 -- This is some of the finest flag awareness I've ever seen. Most of the time on called-back touchdowns, players are celebrating in the end zone, completely oblivious to the orange hankie that lies 40 yards away. It's the worst on punt returns, when a player may just have run 80 yards yet still musters the energy to do The Dougie with the other five guys who ran the 80 yards with him, only to have it be all for naught when the play is wiped out by an illegal block in the back that had nothing to do with the touchdown. Devin Aromashodu and Johnny Knox(notes) aren't making that mistake. They realize immediately that there's a flag and, as a result, celebrate nothing. The receivers know it's coming back.
0:19 -- Cutler knows too. He looks -- nope, touchdown! Guess he saw the refs motion that the penalty was going to be on Minnesota and the flag will be picked up.
0:23 -- "There are fouls on both teams on the play." Ah, offsetting penalties. They'll replay the down. Right. RIGHT?
0:24 -- Maybe I'm wrong. Cutler is chestbumping. There must be some rule about multiple penalties of which I'm unaware and the Bears will get to decline the one on the Vikings. The touchdown will stand; 24-7, Chicago.
0:28 -- Why are they showing Vikings safety Eric Frampton(notes) and not the ref? And why are the Bears still giving each other congratulations? My rule unawareness frightens me. It's like the time my friend who played college football didn't know there wasn't a two-minute warning in that sport.
0:30 -- Somebody in the booth says something like "the fouls offset, right?" because they're as confused as everyone else about why the Bears continue to celebrate. That guy there was doubting himself too.
0:33 -- "Repeat second down." Ahh, my detached feeling of superiority on football-related rules can continue, unbesmirched.
0:36 -- Cutler is upset, but most of all about the wasted chest bump.
That cracked me up. In 20 seconds, the Bears offense went from completely self-aware to totally unaware. It was like "2001: A Space Odyssey" in reverse.
Cutler would go on to throw an interception on the very next play, presumably because chestbumping in sub-zero windchills numbs the arm a bit. It didn't matter, as the Bears would go on to cruise to a 40-14 win.
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