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Monday, January 14, 2013

When Icing the Kicker Goes Wrong

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 6:00 AM

I didn't even know what icing the kicker was until I watched the second half of the Seahawks-Falcons game with some friends yesterday. But even a football idiot like me could see that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made a mistake by apparently calling for a time-out just as the kicker for Atlanta was about to make that game-turning 49-yard field goal attempt.

The time-out gave the Atlanta kicker a nice opportunity for a practice kick (he missed) and then an actual kick (he made it, and as a result the Falcons won the game).

And then Carroll tried to pretend like he didn't call for the time-out?

It's a situation that obviously requires the clarity of a Slog poll.


Comments (30) RSS

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Eric F 1
Posted by Eric F on January 14, 2013 at 6:03 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 2
(4) Ha Hah!!!

Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on January 14, 2013 at 6:05 AM · Report this
I'm no expert, but I did watch some of the commentary. I'd say the smart money is that Carroll wasn't pretending he didn't make the timeout call. He was complaining to the ref that the practice kick came completely after the whistle and they shouldn't have been allowed to take that.

But, the commentator continued, there isn't actually any rule against taking that practice kick during a timeout. Which brings me to a point that is a constant source of irritation:

Why are the NFL rules so fucking complicated? Why do they change every damned year? What kind of game, not in virtual cyberspace, needs that many rules? How come you can't own a copy of the actual damned rulebook? And if you could, would you need a wheelbarrow to carry it around in?

I used to think baseball was complicated, but football is giving Calvinball a run for the money.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 14, 2013 at 6:39 AM · Report this
jseattle 4
trick question!
Posted by jseattle on January 14, 2013 at 6:54 AM · Report this
Goldy 5
@3 I'm with you. He called the timeout, and then complained that the Falcons should have been called for a delay of game penalty for taking the practice kick after the whistle was blown. And that was clearly a practice kick. Everybody else had stopped playing.

But icing the kicker is stupid. As was Carroll's play calling in the red zone during the first half.
Posted by Goldy on January 14, 2013 at 6:56 AM · Report this
I think icing the kicker is a coin flip really, but I'm happy because pete carrol is a cheating, consequence-dodging dolt.
Posted by ultrasuedecushion on January 14, 2013 at 7:08 AM · Report this
venomlash 7
Now you guys know how we Bears fans feel!
Hmm, challenging game, fail on 4th and 1 rather than take the field goal early in the game, end up losing at the last minute because the defense faded at the end of the game? NOW the shoe is on the other foot. Ha HA! (And I was pulling for the Hawks too.)
Posted by venomlash on January 14, 2013 at 7:09 AM · Report this
It's so cute when Slog writers pretend to care about football.
Posted by larf2k on January 14, 2013 at 7:14 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 9
@3, 5: You guys must not watch much football, because every time a kicker gets iced, he takes that kick. Every. Single. Time. No one has ever complained until Cheat Carroll lost a game because of it. This is WAY different than Tucker literally taking a practice kick between OT periods in the Denver-Baltimore game. That should be disallowed, but this is not even close to the same scenario

The fact is, when the kicker is iced, often the snap comes off less than a second after the coach asks the ref, but before the whistle blows. Therefore, the kicker has already started his approach, and you are basically asking the kicker to risk injury to pull up and not finish his procedure. Furthermore, players are instructed to play through the whistle on important plays to lessen the risk of confusion or referee error. Football has always been this way.

Pete Carroll is a lifelong cheater, and a poor sportsman who is proud of his cheating, and publicly claims he should have the right to cheat (in so many words). I am talking mostly of his time before the NFL. But Carroll always has a cheap and dirty team, because he coaches them to cheat to win.

I mean, look at Sherman: dirty player, poor sportsman, cheats on and off the field. He is Carroll's dream player.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 14, 2013 at 7:20 AM · Report this
Goldy 10
@9 I never implied that it should have been called for delay of game. Merely that this is what Carroll was asking for. Yes, they follow through on these iced kicks all the time.
Posted by Goldy on January 14, 2013 at 7:23 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 11
@10: I see, when you said it was "clearly a practice kick" I thought you were agreeing with Carroll's interpretation, not just talking literally.

On another note, the NFL claims that icing the kicker does not work at all, except there appears to be a slight (barely statistically relevant) increase in missed kicks during the playoffs when icing the kicker.

However, I would imagine that slight correlation is more the result of small sample sizes and unscientific methods. Or just the fact that more kicks miss in the playoffs due to the pressure and willingness to risk longer kicks.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 14, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this
Kinison 12
I wouldn't trust Bleacher Report, they gave the drafting of Russell Wilson a solid F, all because he was too short to be a quarter back. Its basically the RedState of sports sites. Lots of talk and wild assumptions, with almost nothing to back up it up.
Posted by Kinison on January 14, 2013 at 8:03 AM · Report this
@3: ?

They used to have a pocket-sized rulebook you could buy, but I don't think they've released one of those since maybe 2009.
Posted by Ben on January 14, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
tainte 14
would it have been a bad idea to try a 65 yard field goal instead of the hail mary? somebody made a 55 yarder in the pats game, with room to spare.
Posted by tainte on January 14, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
DOUG. 15
@14: Ryan Longwell (despite his surname) cannot kick long field goals.

And I'm not really upset about Carroll icing the kicker. I'm pissed that the defense allowed the Falcons to go 40 yards in 18 seconds (this coming after almost the exact same thing happened at the end of the Seahawks/Bears game earlier this year).

I feel bad for Russell Wilson. That little dude played an AMAZING game, just to be let down by his supposedly vaunted defense.
Posted by DOUG. on January 14, 2013 at 8:49 AM · Report this
CC-Rob 16
Icing the kicker - or whatever is a sideshow. Carroll blew the game in the 1st half when he went for it on 4th and short. They could have kicked an easy field goal and got the points. (And Seattle would be preparing for San Francisco)
Posted by CC-Rob on January 14, 2013 at 9:20 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 17
"Icing the kicker" doesn't work. Never has. It's a stupid superstition that coaches do because they're not very bright. It doesn't work. It's like wearing your socks inside out because that one time that one team won a game when it happened. Superstition.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 14, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
@13 Thanks. Ummm... Have you read that thing? It looks like over 5,000 lines of rules! (Not including the preface, table of contents, index or appendices.)

I think that's more rules than baseball, hockey, basketball, soccer, rugby and cricket, combined.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on January 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 19
There are kickers that can be iced, but they don't tend to play for #1 seeds, at least not for long. Matt Bryant isn't one of those kickers, and certainly not at home in a dome.
Carroll was hoping to call the TO early enough so that no snap & kick would happen. The Falcons were smart to proceed, though missing that practice kick isn't a good omen. There have been a few cases where the practice kick is good, but the real one misses. It's a last ditch effot, which are rarely successful by nature.

The current NFL wisdom says to call that timeout, since you can't use them after the game. Pete was going by the book, such as it is.

Let's not forget Atlanta coach Mike Smith calling his last timeout to set up the field goal with way too much time left on the clock. The replay shows him running to the official in a panic, not looking at the clock, and calling timeout with 12 seconds left instead of 4. That almost turned out to be the biggest timeout fiasco in playoff history, and it was because of not "going by the book".
Carroll made plenty of mistakes, but the last timeout wasn't one of them.
Posted by Sir Vic on January 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
@9: Usually the timeout is called just before the ball is snapped. In this case it was called well before, and they followed through anyway. That was Carroll's (weak) argument.

(And yes, I watch a lot of football.)
Posted by bigyaz on January 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
biffp 21
@16, completely agree. There was no reason to be that desparate that early. They should have been down 20-6 at the half. After a few weeks of not making risky calls, Sneaky Pete was back thinking he was smarter than the stats, and playing his stupid hunches. If he trusted the team, we'd be preparing moving on. Yet another missed opportunity this year.
Posted by biffp on January 14, 2013 at 10:14 AM · Report this
Eli (@9), did you actually read that second linked article? He at no time claims that he didn't call the timeout. His entire argument with the referees was over whether or not they were going to assess a penalty on Atlanta's kicker for the practice kick.

If they claimed before the game they weren't going to allow it, then he's right to ask them to assess a penalty. He didn't get the call but I see no reason for him to let it go without argument.
Posted by serotonein on January 14, 2013 at 10:32 AM · Report this
What an amazing comeback, huh? Hold your heads high, Seahawks fans. We can teach Lynch to hang onto the ball. We can heal Clemmons. Turbin finally looked like the stud he can become.

The Hawks had an amazing season even after holding Wilson back for the first four or five games. Every star quarterback in the league is going to think twice before throwing an egg against Sherman, Browner and Earl Thomas.

This is a team poised to make history. The best part of the NFL? There's always next season.

I had more fun watching the Hawks this year than I have in a decade, and that includes the '05 Superbowl season. Alexander versus Lynch? No question. Hassleback versus Wilson's potential? Whatevs.

Plus, we get to watch the 49ers win the Superbowl now. They're kind of like a home team, right?
Posted by six shooter on January 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 24
As others have said, the real issue is the two opportunities for field goals in the first half that were ignored. That sucked.

I'm fairly sure "icing the kicker" was invented as a way to create an additional slot for advertising.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on January 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
@24 -- like the two minute warning?
Posted by six shooter on January 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 26
Mike Carroll?
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on January 14, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
DOUG. 27
@23: You had me until Niners and Super Bowl. Fuck the Niners. Jim Harbaugh is an asshole and Kaepernik is tatted up in bible verses.
Posted by DOUG. on January 14, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
DOUG. 28
@24: they only had one shot at a field goal in the first half. At the end of the half, once Wilson was sacked on 3rd down, there wasn't enough time left to get the kicking unit on the field.
Posted by DOUG. on January 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
@29 -- I'd like to shove that pen Harbaugh wears straight up the middle, if you know what I mean.

I didn't grow up here. I root for the Oilers and I draft Earl Motherfucking Campbell every fantasy season.
Posted by six shooter on January 14, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 30
@25: The two minute warning is a holdover from the days when there were not game clocks all over the field and all the coaches and players were wired with earpieces.

Because back then, the coaches actually needed a warning when the half was expiring.

This is essentially the same reason the clock stops on an incomplete pass. They had to go retrieve the ball, and you can not have the clock ticking while you wait, or else teams could burn the clock just by lobbing long balls out of bounds.

There is no actual reason for either to exist now, but they have become part of the fabric of the game, and strategies now revolve around them.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 15, 2013 at 5:25 AM · Report this

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