Playoff Cheats: 5 Out-of-Bounds Plays Inspired by Sal Alosi

Michael BaltonCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2010

Out-of-bounds strategy turns cheerleaders into playmakers.
Out-of-bounds strategy turns cheerleaders into playmakers.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Last weekend, the Jets’ secret weapon was revealed—it was the genius of Sal Alosi, the team’s now-suspended conditioning coach who extended the field of competition beyond the sidelines by creating a special out-of-bounds play. 

We’ve all seen Sal’s famous “wall formation” that sets up a sideline fortress of inactive players and is triggered by the flex of Sal’s knee.  

The success of that play has inspired the Jets’ coaching staff to devise dozens of additional “over-the-line” plays that they had planned to use in the postseason. 

Unfortunately, the junior team from New York isn’t likely to come anywhere near the playoffs unless they become Giants fans. The good news is the Jets have released the sideline plays, which some wags call “cheats,” to playoff-contending teams. We present the best five of the “extracurricular” plays here as a playoff preview:

1. Top-Up Misdirection

This one is designed to slow down an opposing runner who is headed for a touchdown. Simply bribe a member of the cheerleading crew to exhibit her “special talents” at the proper moment. The revealing distraction should stop the runner in his tracks and make the highlight reel of every television newsroom in North America. 

2. Pulling My Chain

As the opposing ball carrier performs an end-around toward your sideline, give one of the chain gang officials a subtle but forceful shove. The yard marker and chain will take to the field, tripping up even the most nimble running back. If someone complains, accuse the officials of publicly wielding “a symbol of repression to promote their racist views.”

That should shut them up.

3. Eye in the Sky in Your Face

What would happen if one of those fly-by-wire cameras were to drop out of the sky and hit the opposing quarterback right on the head? You never know until you try.

4. Niagara Falls

Gatorade baths for coaches traditionally are reserved for the closing minutes of the game. But why wait?

Perhaps you can time your Gatorade waterfall to occur exactly when the competition’s star receiver is passing through your sideline area.  He will find that it’s hard to remember his routes with 10 gallons of Gatorade sloshing around in his pants.

5. Counter Runs

First, secure about a quart of some good, high-performance prescription laxative. Then, sneak around to the other side of the field and dump it in the opposing team’s water supply. Suddenly, all of their quickest running plays will be terminating in the locker room. The term “end zone attack” will take on a whole new meaning.

As to those who say these innovative sideline plays are merely a form of cheating, we ask: Was Alexander Graham Bell cheating when he invented the telephone? Was Abraham Lincoln cheating when he drafted the Gettysburg Address? Was Bernie Madoff cheating by playing Ponzi?

Sal Alosi doesn’t know, and Sal Alosi doesn’t care. He just wants his job back.

Alosi might be down today, but it’s a pretty good bet that his “broader field” strategy will be adopted by the entire league over time. Then we’ll be talking about Sal’s induction into the Hall of Fame as the “Father of Out of Bounds Play.”  That journey could begin with this season’s playoffs.

So let’s wall-up on the sidelines, and let the cheating begin.