A few Traverse City St. Francis fans see a Grayling player lying on the Thirlby Field turf in the final minute and decide that he must be faking an injury to stop the clock.
After all, center/linebacker Ryan Randall surely saw the New York Giants playing hurt to slow down the no-huddle offense of the St. Louis Rams.
Similar situations were so blatant this season that the NFL office sent out a memo to all 32 teams threatening fines and removal of draft picks in obvious situations.
Perhaps Randall learned the trick from watching University of Oregon opponents do the same in college football. Sometimes guys would be walking and suddenly just fall to the ground to slow down the Ducks.
So one could understand that a few fans unleashed some boos with Randall lying on the turf after a third down play with the Vikings out of timeouts.
Except Randall didn’t pop up, run off or even get help getting to the sidelines. In fact, Randall needed to be carted off the field.
Randall had a broken bone in his leg.
The spectators gave Randall two rounds of applause as he was taken away, perhaps out of guilt.
All I’m saying is, let’s just take a few seconds before we react. If the player hops right up, then maybe you can interject something. But until you do know how serious the injury is, just take a second or two to think first.
After Randall was taken off the field, the referees properly motioned for the clock to start winding down, meaning he had nothing to gain from faking injury anyway.
There have been several incidents of poor sportsmanship on the field recently, two of which involved the Detroit Lions.
The first involved ‘Handshake Gate’ when the customary greeting after a game went completely crazy on the Ford Field turf. If San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh had taken a second to compose himself before shaking hands with Lions’ coach Jim Schwartz, none of this would have happened.
Even if Harbaugh wouldn’t have composed himself, if Schwartz would have taken a second, his reaction would have been different.
In this Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril were accused of taunting Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan as he rolled around and clutched his leg after injuring it.
This instance is a little more forgivable because it came in the heat of battle and probably happens all the time on football fields across the country.
Still, it could have been avoided with a half-second of thought.
Don’t you think William Gholston would have loved to have taken back that punch against Michigan, not received a one-game suspension and played against Wisconsin?
What if Ryan had been seriously injured on the play and missed the rest of the season instead of later returning to the game? He did and all was fine.
Randall won’t be returning this season and deserved better than a couple of boos on his final play. All it would have taken was a moment of pause.