Today's Tidbit... Another Sideline Play
Images of sideline plays are among my favorites since they clearly show an element of the game that has gone missing since the advent of hash marks in 1933. In football’s early days there were five ways teams could bring the ball back into play after it went out of bounds, but only one remained in 1910 when the picture above was taken. That allowed the team to place the ball up to ten yards in from the sideline and start the play from that spot, so it had an effect similar to the role played by hash marks. But that process only followed the ball going out of bounds.
Wherever a play ended within the field of play, however, the next play started at that spot, even if a play ended one foot from the sideline So, the image above shows a sideline play starting about two yards from the sideline. The sideline forced both the offense and defense into unbalanced sets, and they got ready to play.
The quarterback’s position and technique add to the image. He’s offset from the center, bent over, and prepared to receive the snap using the standard technique at the time.
Kentucky went 7-2 that year, winning their first seven games before dropping the last two to St. Louis and Central (now Centre).
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