New York Jets’ sideline penalty evokes memories of ‘Tripgate’

Kristian Dyer

The New York Jets were reminded of a memorable play from their past on Sunday, and that isn't necessarily a good thing.

With 7:56 left in the third quarter of a difficult and frustrating 19-3 loss at the suddenly solid Baltimore Ravens, the Jets got called for a penalty eerily similar to one they committed three years earlier, even if it lacked the malicious intent of what became known as “Tripgate.”

The most current version happened on a Ryan Quigley punt – one of eight he had on a day in which the Jets offense struggled mightily. Ravens returner Jacoby Jones deftly sidestepped a full body tackle attempt by Jets cornerback Ellis Lankster and headed across the field towards the far sideline, where he eventually stepped out of bounds after a 37-yard return. But along the way, a flag was flung for unsportsmanlike conduct on the Jets bench because a member of the team's staff was inside the sideline's six-foot perimeter.

That area is supposed to be kept clear during a play to allow the officiating crew access up and down the field. Instead, one of the officials had to run around the Jets staff member which led to the flag. An incredulous Jets head coach Rex Ryan can't believe the call when it is announced.

This isn't of course the first time that the Jets sideline has drawn the wrong kind of attention.

Three years ago on Dec. 12, 2010, former Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi was standing along the white part of the sideline when he reached forward with his left leg and tripped Miami Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll during his run down the sideline.

At the time, the play went unnoticed by the referees and Carroll would limp off the field. Alosi would later be fined and suspended after drawing criticism around the league. After the season, Alosi resigned from the Jets. He spent some time training players on the team during the lockout in 2011.

There is a happy ending, as Alosi seems to have found his inner peace and is now the head strength and conditioning coach for the UCLA Bruins football program.

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Kristian R. Dyer covers the Jets for Metro New York and also contributes to Yahoo Sports. He can be followed for news and random tweetingson Twitter @KristianRDyerk