November 27, 2011
If Chicago Bears fans are frustrated with Caleb Hanie's(notes) three-interception performance on Sunday, they should refocus that exasperation elsewhere. You can't blame Hanie, the backup quarterback to injured Jay Cutler(notes), for playing like a backup to an injured Jay Cutler. It's not his fault he's Caleb Hanie, he can only do the best he can do. Brian Urlacher(notes) didn't blame him, nor should fans.
What they can be annoyed with is the fact that Hanie ended the game with an intentional grounding penalty on a play in which he intended to spike the ball to stop the clock. Watch as Hanie makes a mistake that brings about a penalty and the requisite 10-second runoff.
It's not like delayed spikes are only an NFL rule. The same interpretation applies at the high school and college levels, so Hanie doesn't have an excuse.
Granted, the Bears would have needed a miracle to win the game on the final play and since all NFL varieties are following the Denver Broncos these days, the chances of a last-play touchdown were slim. But slim is always better than none.
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