“The Holy Roller” was brilliantly idiotic and the NFL said never again | Weird Rules

“The Holy Roller” was brilliantly idiotic and the NFL said never again | Weird Rules


– [Ryan] We talk a lot
about the 70s on this show. – [Will] It was a good time. – [Ryan] It seems like a good era rife with material for this thing. – [Will] There’s a lot of people trying to figure themselves out. A lot of people just trying
to get away with stuff also. – Yeah, just in American culture at large. But particularly, I think, in the NFL. This rule we’re gonna talk about today is, like, a great encapsulation of that. – Okay. – It’s based off of a play
called the Holy Roller. It’s another one of those plays that spawned a rule
because the NFL was like, no, you can’t, okay, no,
you can’t also do that. In 1978, John Madden’s Oakland Raiders are playing the Chargers in San Diego. The Raiders are down six points. They have the ball with
10 seconds left to go. And in short, what
happens is the quarterback intentionally fumbles the ball, and then in a little bit of
backyard football foolery, the Raiders just kind of
kick and muff the ball down the field as much as they can until it ends up in endzone. And sure enough, they recover it, and score the game-winning
touchdown at the end of the game. – So the Raiders score
a textbook touchdown. – Yeah, it looks fine, right? There is a lot going on in this play. First you have the intentional fumble by the quarterback, Ken Stabler. Which, I think in 2019 rules
is for sure a forward pass. – But? – But at the time– – No replays. – You don’t have replays. – No HD. Can’t slow that down. If I had to go back and
referee a game in the 70s knowing that now there’s multiple angles, I would have so much anxiety back then. To be like, I’m gonna see this once, and I have to call it right. – [Ryan] Yup. Yeah, absolutely. – [Will] Or I just wouldn’t give a spit. – Yeah, we have what is a pretty clear illegal move that they got away with, but then the rest of it
is in question, right? How can you fumble forward and keep that ball moving
without ending the play? – And knowing you need to cover ground. – You need to cover ground, right. The running back, his
name is Pete Banaszak. – There are more fake names in this series than any other one we do. – Pete Banaszak has, like, Adventure Land. Like, Pete Banaszak’s Adventure Park. Kids, no matter what you do, do not ride the log flume at
Banaszak’s World of Adventure. – He does this move
where it’s like, oh, oh, and it’s, like, pretty
clear that the intention was just to get the ball
further down the field and not make any sort of real recovery. – He picks it up the way that a virgin puts on a condom in every teen movie. (stammering) It’s on my ear. – Boi-yoi-yoi-yoing. – Yeah. And then the ball ends up
rolling into the endzone where tight end Dave
Casper falls on the ball, recovers it, they score the touchdown, and they win the game
with the extra point. – The NFL did have to come
up with a rule after this to keep this from happening, which, the rule still exists today. It’s known unofficially
as the Ken Stabler rule. But basically it says if
the offense fumbles the ball and it’s a fourth down or you’re within the last two minutes of the half, only the player who fumbled
the ball can recover it and advance it. If another player recovers
the ball, play is blown dead, and then they spot the ball
at the spot of the recovery. Or at the spot of the fumble
if it has moved forward. – I love the idea of
intentionally fumbling. Like, the language in this rule allows that as, like, yeah, you can. – So, Ken Stabler maintained for decades that it was just a genuine fumble, and then in one of his
most recent interviews from, like, 10 years ago, he was like, nah, I just pitched it. ‘Cause I was going down. He very explicitly said, oh,
why not just shake the dice? – And it wasn’t even him
being old and slipped up. Him just being like, eh,
no, whatever, I’ll fess up. Gotta get into Heaven somehow. (laughing) Holy Rolling my way up there. I understand the stipulations they essentially added with this rule of, like, fourth down and the
last two minutes of a half. Because outside of those situations, a team’s not going to risk
intentionally fumbling. But I also feel like the NFL has done themselves a disservice where they’ve put all of these steps involved that anyone could get hung up on at a certain point that will leave the refs scrambling for this situation that I’m sure at this point rarely happens. And when it does they might not
necessarily know what to do. – This has, in fact, come up. 2014 it happened to the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers had a ball
swatted out of his hand as he was going for a pass. It was a fumble. It rolls into the endzone. Eddie Lacy went to pick it up, but because he was not Aaron Rodgers and it was within the last two minutes, when he touched it, they
had to rule it dead, but he was in the endzone
so that became a safety. – Because it was behind where the fumble– – Right. – Originally occurred– – So that would have been the spot, but because he’s in the
endzone, it’s a safety. So they got dinged. They lost that game. Boo hoo, right? But it is a rule from
an era when it was like, no, boys, you can’t do that. – I think what I love
about rules like this, that are enacted at
certain points in the game, is the refs are essentially
hanging on to knowledge waiting for it to happen, and then be like, ah, gotcha. They’re not coming up to teams to be like, hey, just remember, if you fumble at the point of the game where– – I wanna point everyone
to pages 14, 36 and 142. That’s why they take a timeout
at the two minute warning so they can pull out the rule book and go, okay, right, the last two minutes. – Yes. That’s why it’s called
a two minute warning. – It’s a warning so you can
all go to your rule books and say, okay, now remember,
it’s a two minute warning. We fumble the ball, you have to be the one to pick it back up if that’s the case. What else do we have to remember? – They wheel out a whiteboard. Alright, now, offense,
remember all your stuff. If you fumble it– – Well, they cut away to a
commercial when that happens, so what you don’t see is they all actually run back inside and they
have a giant rule book that they’re like, oh, right,
right, right, right, right. Okay, cool, cool, cool, we got it? Good. And then they all run back outside. – It’s a two minute cram fest. – [Ryan] Thanks for watching Weird Rules. Will and I are stuck in this black box. All of the lights and cameras are off, but they left us locked in here. So if you wouldn’t mind going to another SB Nation video and leaving a comment letting them know that we’re still here,
that would be great. Please help us.

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  1. Lol. They're so naive to think that replay and a dozen camera angles have made the officials conscientious. They'll watch the replay and uphold their shitty calls as bold as brass.

  2. Why have this rule? Teams would try to fumble on purpose in desperate , last gasp situations and out of the one in a thousand times it's tried it might work, so what? it would be an exciting play……………..How bout the NFL make a rule where Roger Goodell doesn't give full body hugs and crotch grinding embraces to Round #1 draft picks?

  3. What if the center botched the snap within the last 2mins of the game, the play's dead if the quarterback touches the ball? That's just crazy man. They should change that rule

  4. Banazak! A sound not ahhh sound for all 3 ad's. Research guys. He was a journeyman but influential and present for some big history!

  5. Never saw a problem with this to be honest. And the rule change ended up with Buffalo being awarded a safety when Green Bay fumbled into the end zone in 2014. FFS.

  6. For the people on the internet that made fun of the CFL on another video on another channel look at this and look at the NFL's answer to correcting it. The NFL is ****. It is not only because of this but their integrity with the league / game is also zero now after Spygate 2.0 and prior to that not long ago the Saints Screwjob.

  7. In the 2014 example he never made it out of the endzone so it would’ve been a safety regardless even though they called it dead due to the rule.

  8. to be really fair…it IS kinda hard to pick up a; moving ball with all that gear on. Looking directly down with that helmet is weird. Then worrying about being hit simply for TOUCHING the ball, AND the fact that the balls oblong shape makes the physics of it rolling all weird PLUS the anxiety of recovering that lost ball..all plays a part how the ball is being recovered.
    On the sidelines, it looks easy. In the heat of the game, you're that one looking stupid lmao. From experience

  9. Dude, to think that a quarterback would intentionally fumble the ball forward is ridiculous. The odds a teammate recovering the ball is so slim. Changing the rule was a good idea.

  10. I didn’t know this play existed before now. As a Steeler’s fan, thank you, Raiders, you beautiful bastards.

  11. I know I'm way late to the party but shouldn't this have applied to the Chiefs Browns game in 2003 when John Tate scooped a fumble and rumbled and bumbled 30 yards into field goal range?

  12. Did this in JV as a lineman, was lead blocking for my QB and he kind of just chucked it forward in the end zone when he got tackled and I dove on it. JV football was so shot and so fun

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