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football, rules, pass

Rules : Fair Catch

Have you ever seen the guy waving in the end zone during a kickoff? He’s not waving to welcome the defenders who are rapidly approaching; he’s signaling for a fair catch. What’s a fair catch? A fair catch is when a receiver signals that he is going to catch the ball only – not advance […]

football, rules, pass

Zebra Talk : The Not Forward Pass

Last week we learned about what constitutes an illegal forward pass. But a forward pass isn’t the only pass allowed in the NFL. There’s also the backward pass. Which should probably just be labeled the Not Forward Pass, as we’ll soon find out. Here’s a definition that just might make your day: Any pass not […]

football, rules, pass

Zebra Talk : Illegal Forward Pass

Did you all see the A Football Life documentary on the forward pass? If you haven’t it’s definitely one to add to your watch list for a great piece of NFL history. Because really, can you even imagine what the league would be like today if the forward pass was still illegal? It would be […]

football, rules, pass

Zebra Talk : Ten Common Penalties (Part II)

And…we’re back! Yesterday we eased into penalties with a few of the most common pre-snap penalties. Today we get into the meat of the matter: live action penalties. Here are six penalties you are likely to see multiple times this weekend (and every weekend). Intentional Grounding (offense – 10 yards, loss of down) If the […]

football, rules, pass

Zebra Talk : Ten Common Penalties (Part I)

Here’s the post a lot of you have probably been waiting for most in this series: ten common NFL penalties explained in terms that won’t make you want to poke your eyes out. This should prove to be tremendously helpful the next time a whistle blows and a yellow flag hits the turf. Originally I […]

football, rules, pass

Zebra Talk: Things to Know About Penalties

Let me tell you first that writing this post gave me a whole new level of appreciation and sympathy for last year’s replacement refs. The NFL rulebook is a JUNGLE. Seriously. Just take a look at this thing. (And if you’re really brave, download the complete 120 page PDF at the bottom.) Last week we […]