Talk about digging one out of the college playbook. The so-called fumblerooski has been banned in the National Football League for almost 50 years.
So why was a similar play in Sunday’s Carolina Panthers game against the Houston Texans allowed to stand?
For those who may not know, the fumblerooski is a trick play, famously used by the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers against the University of Miami Hurricanes in the 1984 Orange Bowl.
The play was invented by John Heisman.
In the fumblerooski, the quarterback deliberately leaves the ball on the ground upon receiving it from the center during the snap, thereby fumbling it. The running back then runs to the right while the right guard scoops up the ball and runs left, usually leaving the players on the other team scratching their heads.
In the video clip below, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton takes a snap in the shotgun and hands the football to fullback Richie Brockel from behind and between Brockel’s legs.
Newton fakes right and is followed by almost the entire Houston Texans defense, allowing Brockel to run into the end zone untouched.
So why was it legal? Because it wasn’t a fumblerooski.
The QB never intentionally fumbled the ball. Instead, he handed it to Brockel and the play was 100 percent legal.
In order for it to have been a fumblerooski, Newton would have had to put the ball to the ground.
All in all, it was a brilliant play. Check it out below.