Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rams Invoke Mercy Rule, Scrimmage for Second Half

St. Louis Rams Fans Showing Their Colors at a Lambeau Tailgate
The St. Louis Rams exercised a rarely-used clause of the new NFL collective bargaining agreement on Sunday, allowing teams to invoke a "Mercy Rule" if they have absolutely no hope of winning at half time.  Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo threw his white mercy flag, which all NFL coaches are issued along with their red challenge flag, after the teams took the field in the second half -- turning the remaining two quarters into a scrimmage by NFL rules.

"It just seemed like the right thing to do at that juncture in the ball game," said Spagnuolo of his first, though not likely his last, mercy flag of the season.

"We wanted to control the tempo of the game and see if we could force an early mercy flag," commented Packers coach Mike McCarthy in the post-game press conference.  "Our guys told me in the locker room that the last thing they wanted was any more highlights on ESPN in their throwback uniforms.  So I was proud of our guys that they got up 21 points and forced Spags to throw the mercy flag."

Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk helped draw the first mercy flag of the year by flipping "the bird" to the Rams bench in the second quarter.  "I just wanted to send a message that I might end up on SportsCenter wearing those ridiculous khaki pants," said Hawk.  "I just think they [the Rams] could have thrown the mercy flag sooner and we all could have gotten out of there with some dignity."

Speaking of exiting with dignity, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz showed us how it's done Sunday.

In the words of Ron Burgundy, "You stay classy, Detroit."

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