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Games People Play

In the last couple of years there have been a few "trends" in football as far as plays and activities go.

Specifically, one of the most widely used now (both in NCAA and NFL) is the pre-kick time out to "ice" the kicker. The idea is that just before a team goes to kick an important field goal, the defending team calls a time out to throw off the focus of the kicker. I've actually watched a game where a team will call two time outs in a row if it's a really big kick. Doesn't usually seem to work as much as they may like though (the first few did however). Now people just expect it.

Another trend I'm seeing this year has to do with deliberate delay of game penalties. This one seems to happen when a team is across midfield, but not close enough for a field goal and they need to punt - they will occasionally draw a delay of game penalty to move back 5 yards and have more room to kick that punt. What has been happening this year is that opposing teams are declining that penalty and refusing the 5 yards to the other team - forcing them to kick where they are.

I have also seen this happen if a team is REALLY close to the end zone but decides to kick the field goal and may be all the way on the left or right hash - so the angle sucks. If they get the penalty and go back 5 yards, the angle is less severe.

I'm sure someone somewhere has been doing this for much longer than I've seen - but just in these last two weeks I've seen it quite a few times. Strangely, I don't know why it has taken this long to become a bit more common. It's only logical - teams have the decision to accept or deny penalties against their opponent and in this situation it makes total sense to deny it.

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