High school cheap shot validates NFL’s move of umpire

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At a time when it’s become fashionable to throw stones at everything the NFL does, it’s only fair to point out when the NFL has gotten something right.

Several years ago, the league moved the umpire from his standard spot behind the defensive line into the offensive backfield, across from the referee. This year, the NFL has removed the exception that applied when the offensive is inside the opponent’s five yard line.

The decision arose from a desire to ensure the safety of the umpires, who easily can get inadvertently caught up in the scrum of large, armored bodies trying to throw blocks or make tackles. A recent high school game in Texas introduced another potential hazard: Deliberate targeting.

Deadspin has the video and the story from the know-it-when-you-see-it deliberate attack on an umpire in a game between Marble Falls, Texas and San Antonio John Jay. The free safety for John Jay makes a beeline for the umpire and blasts him from behind. After the umpire is on the ground, the strong safety dives onto him, helmet first.

The players were ejected, and the broader question becomes whether they did it on their own or at the behest of a warped adult who issued a sweep-the-leg-style directive.

Either way, someone needs to be prosecuted for assault. And someone at the NFL deserves a pat on the back for removing the temptation for a player in the heat of the moment to “accidentally” collide with an umpire.

55 responses to “High school cheap shot validates NFL’s move of umpire

  1. Geez, they should file assault charges. That second kid was like 5 days late, running the opposite direction of the play and does a WWE move off the top rope.

  2. What those players did was wrong, but it was also wrong for an official to call a member of San Antonio John Jay the N-word during a game (which is allegedly what happened). But of course that official would have been completely unbiased…

  3. Yea I doubt those kids came up with that exact plan by themselves. That’s just insane, there’s nothing discreet about how they did it either. That umpire could be seriously hurt taking a helmet to the back like that.

  4. Apparently the ref called the kids the n word and that’s how they retaliated. Doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is.

  5. Looking at the video it looks pretty choreographed. Hard to believe the two players went ‘Longest Yard’ on their own.

  6. Wow, I never like to see sports wind up in courts, but this smells like something a lot bigger than a couple of 17 year old knuckleheads. This should be investigated and action taken as appropriate. Hope the ref is either okay or recovers quickly – he never saw it coming.

  7. Actions have consequences. Just like those kids will be facing the consequences of their actions that ref faced the consequences of using a racial slur.

    Not saying it’s right, it’s just life.

  8. This is ridiculous. There should be assault charges, automatic forfeit, they should be kicked off the team and not be allowed to play HS, college or pro football. That kind of stuff is what hurts the game. If that kind of thing can happen to an official you know it can and does happen to other players.

  9. Even if provoked, those kids need to pay for the damage. Their helmets were the only weapons they had at the time. Good thing they didn’t have guns. These kids are criminals. Need to be prosecuted. When you get outside the stadium, you might get provoked too. That stuff is illegal in a civilized society.

  10. I’ve seen two posts so far saying the attack was brought on by the ref using the N word. I can’t find that in any of my searches; does anyone have a reference for that statement? Obviously it doesn’t make it right, but it helps explain it.

  11. @zombiepatriot

    *If* it’s true that the guy called members of the team the N word, then at least half the problem here is that he shouldn’t have been officiating in the first place. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if it’s hearsay or not.

    Whatever the case, I suspect this is about to become yet another polarizing public discussion (as if things aren’t already polarized enough). We’ll find out in time, because if it’s true, I’m sure it’s not the first time, and others will speak out.

  12. Meanwhile, those kids go and call each other the same word they retaliated against the umpire for.

  13. Not condoning the umpires choice of words, if in fact he did use a racial slur, it didn’t merit that type of retribution. That video is clear evidence of assault and battery and those players should be charged. Absolutely no excuse for that type of behavior.

  14. The timing of the second guy spearing the ref was impeccable.
    No matter what the reason, it does not make it right. This could lead to a lawsuit. Can’t wait to learn with the motivation was.

  15. “I’m so tired of the “He used the N-word,” defense for some ridiculous act of violence.”

    And you have no problem with a referee, who by profession is supposed to be inherently unbiased, who would toss aside all semblance of lack of bias by using the offensive term?

    I’m Irish, and people forget how badly the Irish were treated when we first arrived here. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if people still treated me that way.

  16. they wouldn’t confront him without pads and helmets on, not to mention hitting him from behind. they are wimps, i hope they get kicked off the team and have to work at mcdonaldsthe rest of their lives.

  17. kamthechancellor says:
    Sep 6, 2015 12:14 PM
    I’m so tired of the “He used the N-word,” defense for some ridiculous act of violence.
    —-

    Especially when I absolutely 100% guarantee he never did. Those violent uncivilized people always resort to that excuse before cheap shotting and physically attacking someone.

  18. “Not condoning the umpires choice of words, if in fact he did use a racial slur, it didn’t merit that type of retribution. That video is clear evidence of assault and battery and those players should be charged. Absolutely no excuse for that type of behavior.”

    You’re absolutely right, and I agree 100 percent. I was only pointing out that there could be more to this story.

  19. My son had a Junior College football game yesterday (unfortunately he is injured and didn’t play) and the opposing team scored a touch down and the side judge got rocked at the goal line at the pylon. But, he got up and gave the TD signal.

    Not the same but I was shocked he actually got up so easily and continued on. I told my wife, he is going to feel that in the morning.

  20. This really has nothing to do with ref placement. Those kids were going to blast the ump no matter what.

  21. “I’m Irish, and people forget how badly the Irish were treated when we first arrived here. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if people still treated me that way.”

    Imagine how the African Americans would feel if they were still treated like they were when initially “imported” here. Would you use te type of actions that the players used if someone used an Irish slur to your face?
    Words used are no excuse for violence of any type.

  22. Apparently the “N word”is a magical incantation that only whites can cast and when spoken it turns regular people into crazed apes (which happens to be a legally protected species) who are justified to assault, riot and murder.

  23. Interesting how these “n word” comments evolve from the ref may have used it, to he’s “alledged” to have, to he absolutely did…sad, sad, sad but a sociologists dream

    This country, now full of people who read the headlines and not bother with the article, is ripe for the picking

  24. @aquineas1
    Guess what, bro, you ARE still being treated that way. Just by being white, you are a presumed racist in this country. People are just waiting for you to confirm that presumption. And if/when you do say or do something that gives them the green light, you’ll be treated the same way that this referee was. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  25. Wow! That reprehensible blindside physical attack for an alleged use of a racial slur? The Washington franchise is lucky there are no Native Americans playing in the NFL.

  26. Mike F, I just reread the article and I think you got the headline wrong. No NFL player would ever do what I saw in the video, he would be banned for life, possibly jailed and most certainly sued. You might have titled it “Two High School Football Players End Their Football Futures”.

  27. aquineas1 says:
    Sep 6, 2015 12:28 PM

    “I’m so tired of the “He used the N-word,” defense for some ridiculous act of violence.”

    And you have no problem with a referee, who by profession is supposed to be inherently unbiased, who would toss aside all semblance of lack of bias by using the offensive term?

    I’m Irish, and people forget how badly the Irish were treated when we first arrived here. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if people still treated me that way.
    ______________________

    Yeah, the Irish, when looking for employment, faced the INNA note right under the Help Wanted signs. Irish Need Not Apply. My grandfather came over so I’ve heard all of the stories.

    I wouldn’t condemn the referee yet because the accusation may just be a convenient excuse. In any case, as a retaliation for a WORD, such a cowardly, reprehensible, sneak attack should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  28. “Apparently the ref called the kids the n word and that’s how they retaliated. Doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is.”

    Because there’s no way those kids could possibly be making that up to try and get out of this trouble, right? Nobody has ever used the race card to excuse their actions!

  29. Jesus Christ. Just like any of the”gates” NO-ONE has any proof and just accepted that the umpire said the n word.

    Fyi, high school kids are capable of ANYTHING. why do we assume otherwise? Columbine was thought up by 2 warped hs scum bags after all as has been plenty of other nefarious super high intensity training.

  30. The events of the high school game and the NFL moving umpires is apples and oranges. The criminal act that occurred in that game (and let’s all just go ahead and agree that it was assault at a minimum) had nothing to do with where the umpire was positioned, and much more to do with 2 idiots either deciding on their own or being instructed by a “coach” that physical violence on an unsuspecting victim is appropriate behavior. Some obscure change the NFL made years ago to positioning of officials is about as relevant to this as the waffles I made my kids at breakfast this morning.

  31. @aquineas1

    The only references I’ve seen are anonymous posts in the comments section of articles pertaining to the incident. Those same anonymous posts are being used as a justification for the act whether it be right or wrong.

    Myself, I don’t agree with an official nor anyone using said word but I also don’t believe if it is uttered it calls for the person to be violently struck. There are other means and avenues they could have pursued with a complaint (if it is true) but they chose to take a cowardly route.

    Trust me I’ve played enough sports throughout my life and I’ve heard some referees say some awful things and make some terrible calls but no matter how angry I was about it I never resorted to a violent action.

    If it does come out he was using said language then he should be fired as an official. Either way the two players who committed the act should also be barred from playing football now and in to the future.

  32. For those of you defending these kids because of the alleged use of the “N” word… I guess the next time you or your child calls someone a name, you should expect your kid or yourself to immediately get assaulted for it. There is no excuse for something like this and the punishment must be harsh indeed. Otherwise we’ll have testosterone loaded teenagers doing this kind of thing in every sport nationwide. The thing is, this wasn’t a impulsive lost your temper type thing, it was premeditated, as they had to decide on it prior to the play.

  33. One for the thumb says:
    Sep 6, 2015 12:08 PM
    Actions have consequences. Just like those kids will be facing the consequences of their actions that ref faced the consequences of using a racial slur.

    Not saying it’s right, it’s just life.
    ———————-

    Oh, okay. Well in that case, I guess the next time you cut me off in traffic, I’ll reach for my Heckler and Kosh. Actions have consequences…

    Not saying it’s right, it’s just life.

    Or… You know, we could be civilized sane people…

  34. For those of you defending these kids because of the alleged use of the “N” word… I guess the next time you or your child calls someone a name, you should expect your kid or yourself to immediately get assaulted for it. There is no excuse for something like this and the punishment must be harsh indeed. Otherwise we’ll have testosterone loaded teenagers doing this kind of thing in every sport nationwide. The thing is, this wasn’t a impulsive lost your temper type thing, it was premeditated, as they had to decide on it prior to the play.

    100% agree. Coach should be fired and kids should be kicked off team permanently.

  35. No risk that an NFL player would do such a thing. For if he did, he would be out of the league permanently. The next day.

    The NFL moved the umpires because of the risk of them getting tangled up in inadvertent collisions. The consequences of being caught up in an NFL collision being magnitudes worse than if the players are high school kids.

    Hard to believe that incident happened. I expect those two kids are done for their careers. I would be interested in examining the behavior of the John Jay coaches prior to this play. Two other Jay players had been ejected from this close game previously, and there had been a very close call on a goal line stand that went against Jay. One can imagine an irate coaching staff inadvertently inciting their own kids. Undisciplined teams are generally coached by undisciplined coaches. Not always, but usually.

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