So with a rookie slappy punter who’ll undoubtedly be pumping gas in South Carolina this time next month able to send a kicked ball into the floating, four-sided drive-in movie screen at Cowboys Stadium, owner Jerry Jones will order the thing to be moved higher from the stadium floor, right?
“You don’t need to move it,” Jones said after Friday night’s game between the Cowboys and the Titans, according to Paul Kuharsky and Matt Mosley of ESPN.com. “You gotta be trying to do it. The rule is very clear. You just kick it over.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher, co-chair of the league’s Competition Committee, doesn’t agree.
“It’s an issue, yeah,” Fisher said. “I’m sure the Cowboys or the league will
tell you, I shouldn’t have to throw a flag out there because [the
officiating crew] didn’t see the ball hit the scoreboard. Now, it’s not
necessarily their responsibility. Once a fair catch signal is given,
then there are no eyes on the ball anymore. So they don’t see it. So
something has to get worked out. It can become a problem.”
Per ESPN.com, rookie punter A.J. Trapasso and veteran Craig Hentrich struck the video board repeatedly during pre-game warmups.
“I hit it probably a dozen times in pregame,” Hentrich said. “Probably
somewhere around a five-second punt is going to hit it and some of the
guys in the league wouldn’t be able to punt here if it’s not raised,
they’d just be non-stop hitting it. I don’t know what the people were
thinking. I guess they should have tested things out before they put
that thing in place. It’ll have to be raised.”
Cowboys punter Mat McBriar, however, said that he doesn’t think it will be a problem (thus guaranteeing his employment for 2009, and likely beyond).
Meanwhile, we’re still not sure what we think about the board itself. For folks at home, the thing potentially undermines the overall aesthetics. While attending a game, there’s a chance that folks might spend more time watching the grossly oversized television instead of focusing on the action on the field.
So, basically, plenty of folks might end up paying good money for the ability to watch the game on a television that will often remind folks of the big tree that branced over the street and prompted endless do-overs during the days of skinned knees and periodic shouts of “Car!”