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View Full Version : Saints Tipped Off Refs About Onside Kick


HEAV
02-11-2010, 09:02 PM
Super Bowl XLIV referee Rob Vernatchi spoke to KHTK about how Sean Payton and the Saints told his crew before the game to expect an onside kick at some point during the game.

“There was an onside kick obviously and I’ll tell you a little story about this kick," said Vernatchi. "Prior to the game, I and my partner (a line judge), were going to the home team to get information regarding captains and any plays that they’ll run. The other two guys across from us - the side judge and the other head linesman went in to the New Orleans locker room before the game, and they warned us they were going to run an onside kick. Prior to the game they told us this. We want to know if anything’s going to be a surprise. It’s to our benefit, especially on onside kicks. Onside kicks are bizarre. The ball bounces funny. So we knew about it. And we also knew it was going to be around the third or fourth kickoff, if they did kickoff that many times. And also it was right footed kicker and he would kick across his body. So we all knew this. So we came back out, and you know what…we had all the information in the world but we were still surprised. The guy kicks off and the ball comes towards me and it hits [Hank] Baskett in the helmet or the hands, and it rolled over to the New Orleans guy and it comes in between his legs. So I dove in. Somebody’s got to go in there and secure the ball because once that ball goes down there, it’s going back and forth. Anybody will come out with it. And sure enough, that thing went back and forth and I was the unlucky one down at the bottom of that pile and finally the New Orleans guy came out. It was just survival of the fittest, that’s how we ruled on it. Quite frankly, that ball was bouncing around down there and there’s no way you can secure it and none of us are strong enough to pry it from any of those guys.”

That One Guy
02-12-2010, 03:56 AM
They really do need to figure out a method for preventing players from piling onto a scrum 2 minutes after the play happened. That was insanity waiting to see who had the ball. Maybe form a ring with all the refs and block out the players with the previously stated intent that any players that push past a ref to get into it will be ejected for contacting an official.

It was just retarded watching people still climbing on top of a 20 man pile like they were going to do anything. Play had to take 3+ minutes to stop and unpile if not longer.

WolfpackGuy
02-12-2010, 05:01 AM
Reminds me of that fumbled kickoff in the Broncos-Redskins Super Bowl.

I believe a Skins guy came up with it, but a Bronco HAD that ball before the pileup.

missingnumber7
02-12-2010, 06:18 AM
They really do need to figure out a method for preventing players from piling onto a scrum 2 minutes after the play happened. That was insanity waiting to see who had the ball. Maybe form a ring with all the refs and block out the players with the previously stated intent that any players that push past a ref to get into it will be ejected for contacting an official.

It was just retarded watching people still climbing on top of a 20 man pile like they were going to do anything. Play had to take 3+ minutes to stop and unpile if not longer.

Penalize the extra guys for piling on...it is a penalty.

Man-Goblin
02-12-2010, 06:29 AM
Is it just me, or does it seem like someday there could be a major gambling scandal that stems from something like this?

Binkythefrog
02-12-2010, 06:56 AM
They really do need to figure out a method for preventing players from piling onto a scrum 2 minutes after the play happened. That was insanity waiting to see who had the ball. Maybe form a ring with all the refs and block out the players with the previously stated intent that any players that push past a ref to get into it will be ejected for contacting an official.

It was just retarded watching people still climbing on top of a 20 man pile like they were going to do anything. Play had to take 3+ minutes to stop and unpile if not longer.

It makes sense for any team to add on to the scrum to allow their players a longer period of time to get the ball. Sometimes we'll see one team look like they've got it, but because of the needless piling on the other team can yank it out.

But I've never seen a scrum like that, it almost looked like the entire Saints sideline was about to run onto the field.

That One Guy
02-12-2010, 08:19 AM
It makes sense for any team to add on to the scrum to allow their players a longer period of time to get the ball. Sometimes we'll see one team look like they've got it, but because of the needless piling on the other team can yank it out.

But I've never seen a scrum like that, it almost looked like the entire Saints sideline was about to run onto the field.

Well... if a team didn't get the ball originally then it makes sense to drag it out but that had both teams jumping in. It originally looked like Saints ball and I think there'd have been a pretty good upset crowd if at the bottom of a 5 minute scrum, a Colt had taken it. That's not how fumble recoveries are supposed to work. If it were, when a receiver and DB catch the ball together, they'd let em play tug of war until one comes away with it.

But I do get what you're saying. I just wish they'd get a better method for resolving that quickly.

Pick Six
02-12-2010, 11:49 AM
Yeah, Payton admitted that his team practiced the onside kick during the week with the full intention of doing it at some point in the game...

TexanBob
02-12-2010, 01:40 PM
Anytime you think a trick play is going to need the refs to rule on it, it is smart to alert them ahead of time. Take, for example, the fake spiking of a ball by a quarterback as time is winding down to catch the defense off-guard. If the refs haven't been tipped off that this could happen, the ref may whistle the play dead assuming the ball was spiked and ruin the trick play.

Remember when Marty tried some crap to draw Denver offside on 4th-and-2 in the 1986 AFC Championship Game? The trick "worked" but the officials were tricked too and called Cleveland for a false start because they weren't alerted that a guy with a number in the 60s was lined up as an eligible receiver. Marty spent much of the third quarter cursing a blue streak over that one.

KipCorrington25
02-12-2010, 07:36 PM
I"m surprised the Saints didn't try the brilliant LT eligable play.