January 01, 2006

Doug's Drop Kick: Doug Flutie completes the first drop kick since 1941, scoring an extra point.

posted by dusted to football at 06:56 PM - 41 comments

I'm still looking for a video to link. From the second link: ...the dropkick was an integral part of the game in the 1920s and 1930s. It was during this era that the football slightly resembled a rugby ball. Numerous rule changes affecting the shape of the ball took place during the early years of the NFL. Changes to the ball essentially ended by 1934 as it took its familiar shape of a prolate spheroid. As a result, the number of dropkicks attempted in the NFL diminished significantly in subsequent years. "As soon as they made the ball pointier, dropkicking went out of style. They needed the ball to bounce and to bounce true," commented Bob Carroll, a leading football historian.

posted by dusted at 07:00 PM on January 01, 2006

I saw the highlight on ESPN's Prime Time show tonight. I'm a little surprised that someone hasn't tried to learn how to do it. I guess it is like the "Free kick" rule after a fair catch. Just one of those things that you'll never see.

posted by dbt302 at 07:16 PM on January 01, 2006

Do you think he learned how to do that while playing in the CFL?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:41 PM on January 01, 2006

Nah, watching the original "Longest Yard".

posted by mr_crash_davis at 07:48 PM on January 01, 2006

That's too cool. I'm gonna look for vid tomorrow.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:06 PM on January 01, 2006

Did you see Belechick talking about it after the game? He said that Flutie asked to do it. They practiced it the last couple of weeks and Coach promised him that he could do it if the opportunity arises. Well the opportunity came and Flutie enjoyed himself. I think it is great. This is, more than likely, Flutie's final year in his storied career. I say congratulations to Doug and I wish you well in your life after football. Good luck and God speed.

posted by grabofsky74 at 08:19 PM on January 01, 2006

I am not clear, based upon the boxscore or the recap what the situation was. Was this in lieu of kicking an extra point? It was just done for, ahem, kicks rather than in the "heat of play"?

posted by gspm at 08:28 PM on January 01, 2006

Wow! This site never ceases to amaze me. I learn something new everyday. I hope we find a video on it so I can see what it looks like.

posted by skydivemom at 08:35 PM on January 01, 2006

Doug Flutie is such a throw-back to the old school football days. Gotta love this guy . . . he plays the game like it outta be played . . . FUN!!! He must be even more fun during practice! The NFL needs more guys to have fun. "Fun like Flutie."

posted by babooze808 at 08:55 PM on January 01, 2006

Arena Football has a similar rule... allowing the dropkick on FG or XP situations for an additional point..... But you hardly see it attempted....

posted by zippinglou at 09:22 PM on January 01, 2006

While searching for video on the drop kick I came across This. Check out the date on it!!....By the way this is my first post, hope you all like it.

posted by Grrrlacher at 09:44 PM on January 01, 2006

I meant this...sorry!!

posted by Grrrlacher at 09:56 PM on January 01, 2006

The CFL hasn't seen a drop kick extra point in a long time either. I'm looking for it, but it's been a couple of decades there. The CFL ball is a bit wider, which might make such a kick easier. It's just not really necessary in today's (CFL or NFL) game, with the standard extra point try being such a (usually) high-percentage shot. This might be the last one any of us ever see. Good on Flutie for trying it, especially on what might be the last play of what turned out to be a pretty good career.

posted by chicobangs at 10:35 PM on January 01, 2006

pretty creative i wouldnt be suprised if that happens a lot next year.

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 11:18 PM on January 01, 2006

Worth reading : Drop kick
I'm surprised how quickly up-to-date this material is.

posted by zippinglou at 02:28 AM on January 02, 2006

posted by Grrrlacher at 9:56 PM CST on January 1
The CFL hasn't seen a drop kick extra point in a long time either. I'm looking for it, but it's been a couple of decades there.

"Flutie had practiced this before, actually converting a few when he played in the Canadian Football League."
- from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_kick

posted by zippinglou at 02:34 AM on January 02, 2006

Thanks for the link Grrrlacher, that was a good read. pretty creative i wouldnt be suprised if that happens a lot next year. Based on what? Are there any other players who know how to do this? Everything I've heard suggests the ball's shaped doesn't lend itself to dropkicks. 75% of the Pats' post-game show was devoted to talking about Flutie. Watching it I realized I hope he comes back next year. Even if he's the third-string QB, he's one of those All-Time Athletes who could probably compete at 65 and it'll be sad to see him go. The man is special. Christ, he catches a foul ball half the time he goes to Fenway.

posted by yerfatma at 04:18 AM on January 02, 2006

I thought the dropkick was pretty neat. gspm, to answer your question, it was just for fun. I was surprised that when the Pats scored a touchdown with no time remaining, they didn't send in Flutie for the 2-point conversion. That would have been really great to see.. On a side note, I don't know if anyone else was watching this broadcast, but (broadcaster) Randy Cross called Bill Belichik "Bill Cowher" at least three times, and it was irritating as hell. It was about as bad as the time earlier this season that Randy Cross was telling the audience repeatedly how Flutie had "diamond-coated gloves" where he meant to say "diamond-cutter gloves" instead..

posted by blarp at 07:42 AM on January 02, 2006

I see from zippinglou's link that a dropkick is worth more points in the AFL; has it been attempted much there? (Not an Arena fan....so far)

posted by alumshubby at 08:38 AM on January 02, 2006

I found video from this week's games here: http://sportsillustrated.netscape.cnn.com/sports/story.jsp?feature=sports_nflhighlights_1 Also, the drop kick is one of the featured plays here: http://sportsillustrated.netscape.cnn.com/sports/story.jsp?feature=sports_nfltopplays_1

posted by sportsmaven77 at 09:05 AM on January 02, 2006

The highlight of that was watching all of his teammates jumping around and celebrating with him. He won't be getting into the NFL Hall of Fame, but he's got a nice spot reserved in the CFL Hall of Fame.

posted by grum@work at 09:48 AM on January 02, 2006

Hell of a first link grrrlacher. Keep up the good work.

posted by drevl at 10:05 AM on January 02, 2006

Awesome, simply Awesome to see that and then the jubilation of the rest of the team, BB was even smiling. And Yes blarp, I wanted so badly to grab Randy Quaid ...err... Cross by the neck and just strangle him. I think he said it more like 5 or 6 times. Freakin dumbass.

posted by ProSam at 12:14 PM on January 02, 2006

Hail Mary, Drop Kick, To Small, To Slow, Sad to see Jack Armstrong ALL AMERICAN hang up the cleats.It's to bad you don't hear more about the good guys in sports ,and less about the knuckleheads.

posted by thatch at 03:15 PM on January 02, 2006

Doug has had a very good career,and I believe he has a few more left,but if he retires,great way to go.Hey,I'd like to see more 5'6" QBs and less 250 lb linebackers.Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

posted by rwdaven1 at 05:07 PM on January 02, 2006

it was great I had seen it done in high school a couple of years ago but never in the nfl. they said the last time was in 1941.

posted by dkern at 06:09 PM on January 02, 2006

grum@work thanx for the clip

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 07:14 PM on January 02, 2006

One of the coolest things about that vid is the rare smile on Bill Belichick's face. I don't think he had that much of a smile after winning the Super Bowl.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:39 PM on January 02, 2006

The team celebrated like they had won the Super Bowl.

posted by skydivemom at 08:35 PM on January 02, 2006

grum@work thanx for the clip Send the love to sportsmaven77. I'm just the guy that commented below the clip.

posted by grum@work at 12:19 PM on January 03, 2006

Thanks for the clip sportsmaven77. It is also on www.nfl.com in the vote for the play of the week section. www.nfl.com/playoftheweek adn click on view the play and vote now button. In fact, I find it hard to believe that this play is only in second place today. Let's face it, no matter what team you like, no matter what player is your favorite how could anyone not pick this as the one for this week! About Flutie, the way I figure it he ceratinly should be in the NFL hall of fame because of what he has done both on and off the field. The guy is a class act and should be respected.

posted by bluematt at 03:25 PM on January 03, 2006

oh my bad thanx sportsmaven77

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 04:49 PM on January 03, 2006

Before Doug Flutie's "drop kick" extra point last Sunday. The last known "drop kick" was made by me. I have video footage of the "drop kick" extra point from 1990, I was a sophomore WR at the University of LaVerne. It was the last game that legendary coach Roland Ortmayer coached. Coach Ortmayer or "Ort" was featured in an article (A Most Unusual Man) for Sports Illustrated in the 1989 College Football Preview. He coached at LaVerne for 43 years from 1948-1990. Ort was unorthodox to say the least. He didn't swear, he didn't use a playbook, he let the QB call his own plays, there were no mandatory practices, he doesn’t watch game film of opponents, he never kicked anyone off one of his teams, but most of all he believed that football should be fun. One time on Halloween Day, instead of our normal practice uniforms he grabbed a bunch of old game jerseys and pants, circa 1947. We looked like those players right out of those black and white NFL Films highlights except we didn't wear the leather helmets. It was the most fun I had ever had at football practice. I used to mess around and kick "drop kicks" before practice. In the week leading up to our last game vs Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Ort called me over and asked me if I could do it consistently. During PAT practice he had me do it with the snap and the defense coming at me. I had only done them for fun by myself with no pressure. I kicked a few and Ort told me, if we had a big enough lead in the game that we would try it. I told my family and friends about the possibility of the "drop kick." My Parents and Grandparents traveled all the way from Fresno to see my last game. When I lined up for that kick, I was the only one in the backfield and I was nervous. I had made hundreds of these kicks before. This time was different; Claremont was confused and called a time-out. I kept thinking about what would happen if I missed, the embarrassment and how my friends and teammates would razz me. I was told this later but the referees were also confused. During the time out they looked at Ort with puzzled looks on there faces. Ort yelled, "Drop kick!" The referees gave a nod and a look as if to say; alright let's see this drop kick. The whole play took about 4 seconds but it seemed a lot longer to me. The snap was good, I dropped, kicked, and watched as the ball spun end over end like any other extra point. It didn't go very far but it was good. The crowd erupted, my teammates were going crazy, and I saw a huge smile on Ort's face as I was running and jumping off the field as if we had won the Rose Bowl. It seemed fitting to do something so out of the ordinary for a man who is anything but ordinary. To see the video footage of my kick at LaVerne: Right click below, choose "Save Target As", save it to your computer, and play. (It takes a few minutes to download) http://www.washingtonunion.net/FitzDropKick3.mov The link below is a website that chronicles interesting kicking facts including "The Last Known Drop Kicks" http://www.mindspring.com/~luckyshow/field%20goals%20of%2060%20yards%20or%20more.htm Before Doug Flutie's accomplishment on Sunday, the last "Drop Kick" in the NFL was an extra point on December 21, 1941 by Ray “Scooter” McLean for the Chicago Bears in a 37-9 win vs the New York Giants in the NFL Championship at Wrigley Field. Before mine in 1990 the last "drop kick" extra point in NCAA history was in 1950 by Gene Simmons of West Virginia, he kicked 19 of 20 extra points by drop kick that season. Aaron Fitzgerald 10233 N. Recreation Fresno, CA 93720 (559) 916-7894

posted by coachfitz13 at 08:27 PM on January 03, 2006

I am to take it that a drop kick is still an available option on a field goal, yes? Worth 3 points. That's my reading of the rule. Now, I understand that the field goal option should always be from a place kick where the ball is set by a handler. Nevertheless, in the past 60 years I am willing to bet there have been more than a few botched snaps where the ball has gotten away from the handler. Since a drop kick is the only way to score points with the ball-in-hand from a kick, I'm a bit surprised they haven't been attempted on botched snaps. A kicker could take the ball and step wide of the rush, and make the field goal attempt from a droppie. But he'd have to have his wits about him and be prepared for the worst.

posted by the red terror at 10:14 AM on January 04, 2006

Thanks for the great story coachfitz13! That was very interesting to read and wonderful history.

posted by calidog56 at 11:16 AM on January 04, 2006

If they counted CFL stats, Flutie (and for that matter Warren Moon) would have their own wings in Canton, but Flutie's NFL career has been hot & cold. He's been a backup longer than he's been a starter. (You remember him playing for the Bears? Well, okay, you remember him standing on the sidelines in a Bears uniform?) It's worked out for him, but he's rarely been the first choice anywhere he's been. This was a farewell gift to Flutie from Belichick and, I like to think, the NFL. There's a poetry to the idea that his pro career was bookmarked by two history-making plays.

posted by chicobangs at 12:04 PM on January 04, 2006

the usfl just keeps on giving, doesn't it?

posted by lescour at 02:50 PM on January 04, 2006

Thanks, coachfitz. That's got to be a really fun memory for you. I'm glad you've documented it as well as you have.

posted by dusted at 05:32 PM on January 04, 2006

What has irritated me much is how it seems absolutely no one in the press did any research at all on this drop-kick thing, not even actually explaining what it was. The 1941 kick in the championship game was done as a sort of insult by the Bears as they were slaughtering the Giants in the NFL championship game. In the last quarter they kept scoring TDs and using different people for the point-after. On one play they ran for the point (no 2 pointers back then) which at that time was called "conversion by 'variety'". On an interception they scored last TD with 9 seconds left and put this guy in, a vet, to drop-kick. Itw as already passéas the ball changed from the old "blimp" ball to the modern "cigar" shape ball in 1934 (actually began changing shape 1931) After that it was mostly used by veterans such as Potsy Clark who hit the last drop kick FG in NFL in 1937 as player-coach (now Hall of Famer) for the Lions. The last professional drop-kick made was actually in 1948 in the rival (and more popula) All-American Football Conference by a 49er against the Browns, it was atempted after a bad snap to the holder for his place-kick. Look at this page for names, and see how the last known drop-kick FG won a game for New Dorp High in 1975, for the last CFL drop-kick points, for much more. See bottom of page for the drop-kick info: http://www.mindspring.com/~luckyshow/field%20goals%20of%2060%20yards%20or%20more.htm

posted by luckyshow at 10:57 AM on January 05, 2006

A bit late to this, but what the Wikipedia page and others that I've seen don't say is whether, in the NFL, a drop goal may be attempted in open play like in rugby. If so, I think it would be a much higher percentage trick play than a lot of ones I see, as in that case it would likely be worth three points as any other field goal is worth.

posted by mikelbyl at 11:03 PM on January 05, 2006

On a similar "What if?" theme, does the ball have to be returned to an official between plays? What I am thinking is, is there anything to stop a team who are camped on thier own goal line from snapping it back to someone who then runs out of bounds to give away a safety, but then immediately runs to the 20 yard line and takes the subsequent free-kick. The defending team are unlikely to have anyone back, and as it is a free-kick, the kicking team can retrieve the ball and retain possession (although they cannot advance the ball). Good way of earning easy yards, or am I missing something?

posted by DrSpin at 12:57 PM on January 15, 2006

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