The Statue of Liberty is a trick play in American football named after the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World).
Although many variations of the play exist, the most common involves the quarterback taking the snap from the center, dropping back, and gripping the ball with two hands as if he were to throw. He then places the ball behind his back with his non-throwing hand, while pretending to throw to one side of the field.While his arm is still in motion during the fake throw, he hands the ball off behind his back to a running back or a wide receiver in motion, who runs the football to the opposite side of the field. The objective is to trick the defense out of position, leaving them unable to catch up with the runner as he moves in the direction opposite to the fake.
The play is named after the positioning of the quarterback as he hands the ball off. If done correctly, he should have one hand in the air and the other at his side, resembling the pose of the Statue of Liberty. When executed properly, the Statue of Liberty is a deceptive and high-yardage play. However, the coordination of motions required is difficult, and failure may lead to a fumble, sack, or lost yardage. Additionally, disciplined defenses may be able to spot the fake.
Amos Alonzo Stagg was the first to call the play, and Stagg credited Clarence Herschberger with being the first player to run the play. The play was made popular by Fielding H. Yost during his tenure as head coach of the football team at the University of Michigan.
The Northwestern Wildcats employed a direct-snap variant of this play in the 1949 Rose Bowl to run for a 45-yard touchdown in the final minutes of the game, defeating the heavily favored California Golden Bears 20–14.
The Baltimore Colts ran a version of the play in December 1970. Led by 37-year-old quarterback Johnny Unitas, the Colts beat the Oakland Raiders in the 1970 AFC Championship game 27–17.
This play was also a part of the offensive repertoire of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams teams of the mid-1970s under coach Chuck Knox.
The most famous use in recent years was by Jared Zabransky and Ian Johnson in the 2007 Fiesta Bowlbetween the undefeated Boise State Broncos and the Oklahoma Sooners. The play, known as "Statue Left" by the Broncos, clinched Boise State a two-point conversion for the overtime victory. The game between the two teams is referred to as one of the closest and most exciting college football games of all time, due in part to the do-or-die nature of this play. It is run in the trips shotgun set. The Sooners saw another Statue of Liberty play in their September 6, 2008, game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Bearcats quarterback Dustin Grutza handed off to John Goebel, but the Sooners stopped Goebel for only a short gain. The Broncos executed the same play nearly eight years later — once against the Wyoming Cowboys and also while facing the Arizona Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl. Both plays resulted in touchdowns for Jay Ajayi.
In a regular season matchup against the Michigan Wolverines in 2007, Oregon Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon faked a Statue of Liberty to running back Jonathan Stewart (somewhat like a bootleg) and then ran for a touchdown almost unseen.
The New England Patriots employed an unusual variant of the play in their 2007 NFL divisional playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Strictly speaking, the play, which the Patriots called "Double Pop,"was actually a reverse Statue of Liberty play, in that the run, not the pass, was the fake element. Center Dan Koppen faked a direct snap to Patriots running back Kevin Faulk, causing the defense to move to stop the run; meanwhile, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who received the football, faked an over-the-head snap, and held the Statue of Liberty pose with his back to the defense before turning around and throwing a touchdown pass to wide receiver Wes Welker in the back of the end zone.
The execution of the Statue of Liberty play was detailed by Mike in the Brady Bunch television series in the 1973 episode "QuarterBack Sneak".
In the 1995 Simpsons Halloween episode "Treehouse of Horror VI", Krusty the Clown describes the play during Bart's dream of winning the Super Bowl.
Peyton Williams Manning is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 18 seasons. Considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, he spent 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and four seasons with the Denver Broncos. Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee, leading the Tennessee Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship Game in his senior season. He is the second son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of former NFL quarterback Eli Manning. Nicknamed "The Sheriff" due to his tendency to audible prior to the snap, Manning is one of the most recognizable and parodied players in the NFL. Teams led by Manning typically used the hurry-up offense in place of the standard huddle.
In ball-playing competitive team sports, an interception or pick is a move by a player involving a pass of the ball—whether by foot or hand, depending on the rules of the sport—in which the ball is intended for a player of the same team but caught by a player of the team on defense, who thereby usually gains possession of the ball for their team. It is commonly seen in football, including American and Canadian football, as well as association football, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football and Gaelic football, as well as any sport by which a loose object is passed between players toward a goal. In basketball, a pick is called a steal.
The hook and lateral is a trick play in American, Canadian football & indoor American football, often colloquially called the hook and ladder play.
The National Football League playoffs for the 2005 season began on January 7, 2006. The postseason tournament concluded with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, 21–10, on February 5, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
In American football, the fumblerooski is a trick play in which the football is intentionally and stealthily placed on the ground (fumbled) by an offensive player, usually the quarterback. The offensive team then attempts to distract and confuse the defense by pretending that a ball carrier is running in one direction while another offensive player retrieves the ball from the turf and runs in a different direction, hoping to gain significant yardage before the defense realizes which player is actually carrying the football.
The halfback option play is an unorthodox play in American and Canadian football. It resembles a normal running play, but the running back has the option to throw a pass to another eligible receiver before crossing the line of scrimmage.
A flea flicker is an unorthodox play, often called a "trick play", in American football which is designed to fool the defensive team into thinking that a play is a run instead of a pass. It can be considered an extreme variant of the play action pass and an extension of the halfback option play.
A trick play, also known as a gadget play, gimmick play or trickeration, is a play in gridiron football that uses deception and unorthodox tactics to fool the opposing team. A trick play is often risky, offering the potential for a large gain or a touchdown if it is successful, but with the chance of a significant loss of yards or a turnover if not. Trick plays are rarely used not only because of the riskiness, but also to maintain the element of surprise for when they are used.
Jared Zabransky is a former professional gridiron football quarterback in the National Football League and the Canadian Football League. He was signed by the Houston Texans of the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2007 though he was never on an active roster in the NFL. He did play two seasons for the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL in 2009 and 2010. He played college football at Boise State and was named Offensive Player of the Game in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
The 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl was a college football bowl game played as part of the 2006–2007 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) of the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The game was played on January 1, 2007, at its new venue, the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The matchup pitted the Big 12 champion No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners against the WAC champion No. 9 Boise State Broncos. The contest was televised on Fox. With this broadcast, the Fiesta Bowl became the first bowl game to air on all the "big four" television networks – the Orange Bowl became the second, the following night.
The 2006 Boise State Broncos football team represented Boise State University in the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Broncos won the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship with an undefeated 12–0 regular-season record, their second unbeaten regular season in the past three years. This was also Boise State's fifth consecutive season with at least a share of the WAC title, and the fourth in that period in which they went unbeaten in conference play. They became only the second team from outside the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) to play in a BCS bowl game when they faced Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, defeating the Sooners in a dramatic thriller.
The 2007 Boise State Broncos football team represented Boise State University in the 2007 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Broncos, led by second year head coach Chris Petersen, play their home games at Bronco Stadium, most famous for its blue artificial turf surface, often referred to as the "smurf-turf", and were members of the Western Athletic Conference. The Broncos finished the season 10–3, 7–1 in WAC play and failed to win the WAC for the first time since 2001. They were invited to the Hawaii Bowl, where they were defeated by East Carolina, 41–38.
The 2004 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 35th season in the National Football League, the 45th overall and the 5th under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with their second straight 14–2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXIX, their third Super Bowl victory in four years, and their last until 2014. They are, as of the present, the last team to repeat as NFL Champions and only the second to win 3 Super Bowls in a 4-year span. As of 2019, this is the most recent time the defending Super Bowl champions have defended their title.
NFL Classics is a series of videotaped rebroadcasts of National Football League games that air on the NFL Network. The show airs weekly during the offseason and also occasionally during the NFL season. As of the 2010, the series airs on Monday night while Super Bowl Classics airs on Friday night.
The 2007 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl was a post-season college football bowl game between the Boise State University Broncos from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the East Carolina University Pirates from Conference USA (C-USA). This sixth edition of the Hawaii Bowl, sponsored by Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, was played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on December 23, 2007. The game was the final competition of the 2007 football season for each team and resulted in a 41–38 East Carolina victory, even though sportsbooks favored Boise State to win by 10 1⁄2 points. Many experts believed East Carolina to be big underdogs to Boise State, which had defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. The 2007 Hawaiʻi Bowl paid $750,000 to each team's conference in exchange for their participation.
Wildcat formation describes a formation for the offense in football in which the ball is snapped not to the quarterback but directly to a player of another position lined up at the quarterback position. The Wildcat features an unbalanced offensive line and looks to the defense like a sweep behind zone blocking. A player moves across the formation prior to the snap. However, once this player crosses the position of the running back who will receive the snap, the play develops unlike the sweep.
The 2011 New England Patriots season was the 42nd season for the team in the National Football League and 52nd season overall. The Patriots finished the regular season at 13–3, and represented the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI. It was the seventh Super Bowl trip in franchise history, and the fifth for head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
The 2016 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 47th season in the National Football League, the 57th overall and the 17th under head coach Bill Belichick.
The Philly Special was an American football trick play between Philadelphia Eagles players Corey Clement, Trey Burton and Nick Foles on fourth-down-and-goal toward the end of the second quarter of Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018.
The Brady–Belichick era, also known as the New England Patriots dynasty or the Patriots dynasty, was a sports dynasty in the National Football League (NFL) from the 2001 season to the 2019 season.