Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pylon Physics

Yeah... called that one wrong. I love me some college football, and am very happy that I goofed on the Badger prediction. My bad.

But what a week for a CFB lover like me. Simply stunning, awesome games in the last few days leading up the the national title game. ND and OSU had a great game until just 2 min to go. Then the nightcap on Monday featured a big underdog ( West Virginia ) jumping out to a 28 point lead over Georgia. UGA came back to make it a three point game late ( 38-35 ), and with just over a minute to go, UWV executes a FAKE PUNT, and runs out the clock.

Then today, 142 year old Joe Paterno took on 137 year old Bobby Bowden, and the game went well past their respective bed times. In triple overtime, my ( and Willy's ) beloved Penn State pulled out the win. There were FIVE missed kicks during the game, with three of them coming in overtime.

I really hope the USC/Texas game keeps up the level. Should be a good one.

But I did notice something while watching all this football on my wonderful HiDef TV, and I'd like to start a campaign to change the rules of the game just slightly. If there is enough public outcry, I think we might just get this confusing part of the game changed. I'm thinking of starting grassroots style, and moving on to outright lobbying if necessary.

Despite having played football in high school, and for 6 years at the minor league level, I never noticed that they pylons are set down in the out of bounds area. No biggie you say? Well, the rules stipulate that they are actually IN bounds, as part of the field. I've included a small diagram to help explain what I'm talking about. There are a minimum of four pylons in each endzone ( in the corners ).
Imagine this is the left, front corner of the endzone if you were standing in the endzone. (the blue is the endzone, and the white are sidelines and goal line. If you didn't figure that out, then skip the rest of this post)

The pylon itself rests on a part of the field that is defined as OUT OF BOUNDS. If you ever step on, or the ball touches the sideline, you are out of bounds. However, another rule stipulates that the pylon itself is IN BOUNDS, and "part of the field of play."

That's two rules that seem to contradict themselves. It gets even more confusing when you take into account the rule about the goal line 'extending around the world. The ball just has to cross the plane of the goal - so that means if you have established position in the field of play ( meaning feet ON THE GROUND, not in the air ), the ball can be past the goal line, even if the ball is also over the out of bounds region. Basically that means that you can run along the sideline in bounds, and extend the ball out directly to your side ( so if you 'dropped' the ball, it would be out of bounds ), and as soon as the ball crosses the goal line, it's a score.

But if your feet leave the ground, then the ball is marked at the spot that it CROSSED the out of bounds mark. So if you leap for the endzone, and your arm is extended, and your body crosses the plane of the goal, but the ball does not, then it is not a score. UNLESS you or the ball TOUCHES the pylon, then it's a score.

Isn't that stupid? The pylon is OUT OF BOUNDS, but if you touch the foam stick ( that's only like a foot high ) - then it's a score.

So here's a simple idea. Move the freakin pylons ONTO the field of play. Place the pylon so that the entire bottom rests in the endzone. Just move it the width of the pylon, it's pretty simple folks. Why were they ever placed in their current spots in the first place? Why wouldn't the inventor of the pylon put them in bounds?

I don't get it.

And yes, Nort and I discussed this for fifteen minutes on the phone today. And no, we weren't even drinking at the time. Maybe we should have been.


At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Nort said...

MS Paint RULEZ!!!

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Will said...

I really didn't want to think about this any more, because I find the topic ridiculous but...

I think you're getting hung up on the "In/Out of Bounds" part, but what's important is that the pylon is just a vertical representation of the goaline. It has nothing to do with being in or out of bounds it is only there to help the refs see if a player or the ball has crossed the goaline.

The moment the ball or a player with the ball who is on the field of play touches the pylon it is a touchdown.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Dirk the Feeble said...

I didn't figure it out, so I skipped the rest of the post. I'm sure it was riveting though.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous YD said...

Hey science/math man.......check your geometry.....your pylon is located in the RIGHT front corner of the end zone if you are standing in the end zone.
Who else but me would notice and then bring it to your attention?!?!?!

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Intense said...

What's up stranger?

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Kuflax said...

Nort- not even GoogleImages could give me a picture I was looking for

Will- I understand the rule, I just think for the rules to be consistant with each other, they should move the pylon.

Aramedes- You're a smart guy, so that's too bad. It may have been the most riveting piece I've ever written. Or maybe not.

Pops- Look at it again. The blue part is the endzone. If you are standing in the endzone, which the perspective allows for, I said left based from the field of play. This is the LEFT pylon from every point of view execpt the backline of the endzone. Or maybe the endzone isn't really there. Maybe we're not really here either. Maybe there's no such thing as a pylon. Maybe it's turtles all the way down......

Unthink - As you can see, the Packers win last week, combined with the Bears loss, has really got me thinking outside the box for posting ideas.

At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Someone who actually played football and thinks like a football player said...

Listen here.
If they placed the pylons inside the field of play, players running in the end zone trying to get open would hit them all the time. they must be placed out of bounds, because they would obstruct a players path while attempting to get open. You are only thinking about the situation of someone diving for the pylon with the ball, but what about all the other players on the field running around. If they put the pylons inside the boundary they would always be hit or knocked out of the way, and possibly cause players to trip and fall. That's why they don't place them in bounds.


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