About that “Brotherly Shove” aka the “Tush Push” Play and NFL History on Changing Rules…
Who knows here for 2024? I don’t agree with those who want to have a play changed simply because a team has the personnel and execution to kick butt with such a play, which a few other teams have copied as well.
Here’s a documentary on the roots of this play executed best by the Eagles in the NFL via a rugby union coach Richie Gray from rugby power Scotland:
The first two minutes are worth watching before they get into a detailed analysis. You might also enjoy Jason Kelce’s impersonation of the explanation by Gray for the play.
So why would this play be examined again perhaps for 2024 and have associated rules changed?
One buzzword that often makes things move in the modern NFL after about 2010 any more is “player safety,” so long as we are not talking about replacing the rest of that bad turf out there, which is another thread.
The NFL has many precedents for changing rules for “safety,” real or in vast embellishment, due to the dominance of any given player or team using certain techniques deemed “unsafe” or even “we must execute this decision, for it is better for the business, and this is business that we have chosen. We didn’t ask who gave the order!”
Take for example one of my favourite NFL documentaries of all time on NFL Hall of Famer Dick “Night Train” Lane, a defensive back well ahead of his time, who perhaps could pass for a time traveler and who terrorized any receiver who dared try to catch a ball or after the catch.
He was the first known shutdown corner, for quarterbacks daring to throw his way often paid a heavy price. Ron Burgundy even told me that even he never would thrown his way despite his Herculean arm. Whether you believe him or not, game know game folks.
Still don’t believe me? Check out the shots Lane delivered. They might make you cringe. I don’t think some of those guys were able to get up for a few days. Some might have never faced Lane again out of the great fear that stayed with them for life. In their sleep too!
Lore is that Night Train also spoke a strange language from Texas, sort of like my friend Superb Owl sounds when on the …yes his favourite drink…also called Night Train, which in turn is a great song by Guns ‘n’ Roses about, Night Train.
Some things in life come full circle you know?