January 15, 2005

Must Do Better

I was clicking through my archives and I saw this entry:

Since, people who review journal submissions are called "referees," can't we make some jokes about that? The best I can think of is a 5-yard penalty for illegal quantifier shift. Leave something better in the comments

which attracted no comments whatsoever. Come on, faithful readers, can't we do better than that? It's playoff time--take it to the next level [UPDATE: That means you, OK?].

Posted by Matt Weiner at January 15, 2005 01:46 PM

On G.E. Moore: illegal use of hands.

Posted by: Anders Weinstein at January 20, 2005 03:53 PM

Report on D. Davidson, "Actions, Reasons, and Causes": Intentional Grounding

Report on K. Gödel, "On formally undecidable propositions of Principia Mathematica and related systems": Illegal Numbering

Report on Zeno, "Four Paradoxes": Illegal Motion

Report on D. Kaplan, "Quantifying In": Illegal Substitution

Posted by: Jamie at January 27, 2005 12:21 PM

By the way, all of those are actual NFL fouls.

Posted by: Jamie at January 27, 2005 05:39 PM

These are much better than the ones I had in mind about "false start." Perhaps I'll reassign "illegal shift" to Aquinas's fourth way. And it looks like Jason Stanley can be flagged for "encroachment."

I wonder how often illegal numbering is called in NFL games? It seems like something that must be settled before game time.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at January 30, 2005 12:18 PM

Oh, well, you'd have Illegal Numbering if you lined up #28 as one of your interior offensive linemen, for example. If you had Curtis Martin snap the ball. You have to have five offensive linemen with numbers from 50 to 79. Since the players can shift around, it's a penalty that takes place at the moment of the snap (and thus a 'live ball' foul).

I suspect that when it's called, an NFL referee will just announce 'illegal procedure', and then explain.

What infraction were you thinking of? Having a defensive back with the jersey number π?

Posted by: Jamie at January 31, 2005 08:42 PM

Well, I understand it used to be the case that a wide receiver had to get special permission to have a number outside the 80s; so I was thinking of a case (under the old rules) where a wide receiver has a number in the teens.

(Some attribute the rule change to Keyshawn Johnson, but I remember it being fairly common for the 5th- or 6th-string WR to have a number in the teens--perhaps KJ was the first big star to keep a number in the teens.)

Can someone with the wrong number report as an ineligible receiver and then serve as a lineman? I remember at one time the Steelers were saying that if their tackles kept getting hurt their tight end would serve as the tackle; and long snappers often seem to double as tight ends.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at February 1, 2005 11:21 AM

I know you used to be able to use players with the wrong numbers for their positions if you just reported the fact to the line judge -- that was always done with a 'tackle eligible' play, for instance. I don't know if that's still true. I can't find much mention of the Illegal Numbering rule on the various NFL Rules sites I managed to Google, which all seem to contain the same 'digest'.

Posted by: Jamie at February 6, 2005 11:23 AM