Snow in Miami
January 10, 2010 by USA Post
I say this because weird things happen to opposing teams when they play the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., in the snow.
Remember the infamous “Snowplow Game” of 1982?
That was the game between the Patriots and Miami Dolphins played in a near-blizzard at old Schaefer Stadium.
With the game scoreless late in the fourth quarter and the field covered with snow, Patriots coach Ron Meyer actually ordered a snowplow onto the field to clear a spot for kicker John Smith.
Miami coach Don Shula went ballistic protesting; it looked like his head was about to explode.
But Smith’s kick was good, and the Patriots held on to win, 3-0. And here’s a nice touch: The Patriots awarded one of their game balls to the snowplow operator.
Who happened to be a convict on a work-release program.
You can’t make this stuff up.
It wasn’t until the following year that the NFL honchos got together and thought: Hmm, maybe that wasn’t fair, letting the Patriots bring their own snowplow onto the field to do a little house cleaning for a game-winning kick.
So they issued a rule banning the practice, although that didn’t help the Dolphins or Shula, who was still muttering about the snowplow years later.
Then there was the “Tuck Rule” playoff game between the Patriots and Oakland Raiders 20 years later at Foxboro Stadium.
Played in another heavy snowstorm, that was the game in which Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady late in the fourth quarter and caused what appeared to be a fumble.
But the play was reviewed, and the officials ruled Brady’s arm was moving forward, making it an incomplete pass.
They cited a rule that said when a player is attempting a pass, “any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body.”
So the Patriots got the ball back and kicked a field goal on the last play of regulation to tie the score at 13. Then they kicked another field goal in overtime to win it, 16-13, as the Raiders seethed and complained about being robbed.
No, the Ravens probably don’t want to see any snow falling in Foxborough today, even though their revived running game could give them an edge in sloppy conditions.
The other big questions hovering over today’s game are: How badly is Brady hurt? Is he even hurt at all?
The answer to both questions is: Outside of the Patriots, nobody really knows.
After New England’s 34-27 loss to the Houston Texans last week, the first reports about Brady made it sound as if he had been in a car wreck.
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