Picture Pages - Mascot Tackling Angles

Submitted by Meeechigan Dan on September 24th, 2010 at 4:30 PM

[Ed: bump.]

There has been spirited debate about the angles that Ohio University LB Rufus took in tackling the OSU RB Brutus during last Saturday's game. Does increased head mass require a higher tackling angle, or should traditional non-encephalitic technique be employed?

It is early in the game, with OSU lined up in a 1-1-9.  The RB is parallel with the fat dork carrying the flag. The OLine of nine band weenies is clearly off the line of scrimmage in an illegal formation, but this doesn't get called; we're in the Horseshoe, after all.

Unblocked, Rufus arrows towards Brutus demonstrating, at first glance, excellent technique with arms wide to wrap up the opponent.

But here the question of angle v. encephalitis comes into play. What can’t be seen at this angle is that the RB’s momentum is carrying him past the impact point targeted by the OU LB, exposing why a traditional, lower attack point is desired. The OSU RB pulls away with a little, mincing gesture with his forearm and clocks the fat dork (FD) in the head with his opposite elbow. By the way, WTF is with that running OSU dude on the left side of page? I’ll tell you what it is: too many men on the field.

At this point, it looks like the unblocked OU LB will tackle for a decisive TFL.

But then we see the consequences of hitting the OSU player too high: with help from the OSU FD, Brutus maintains his balance and stands up Rufus.

If Rufus hits the OSU player just above the knees, then there is no opportunity for Brutus to recover. The OLine here is still in pre-snap formation revealing that this is a trick play.

Rufus begins to slip as the RB deflects his momentum…

…and loses contain letting the RB into the secondary with a convoy of blockers...

The RB makes a mistake: he slows up and begins to taunt the OU sideline. Rufus cuts between the WR and the TE in pursuit...

Notice the poor blocking on the part of the OSU WR running with Brutus downfield. How can you let Rufus approach your RB untouched? Again, the OU LB takes waaaay too high of an angle at the goal line. Seriously, what is this? Who tackles a player this high? Shame on the RB for walking into the end zone. Typical OSU classiness.

Rufus hits high...

...and already in the end zone, the OU LB commits the personal foul with unnecessary roughness…

...yet still demonstating why it is important to hit the player low; he still can't get him down. Bonus: notice the abused, defeated expression on Brutus's face...

This is not football; it is more reminiscent of Bogs in Shawshank. The infamous punch that got Rufus suspended from the OU team leaves Brutus a shell of mascot.

Teammates hang their heads in shame.

Takeaways: Even large-headed mascots must maintain proper tacking angles. They should not compensate for higher mass distribution with a higher attack point. Paradoxically, the higher mass point makes mascots more vulnerable to the classic leg tackle.

Also, there is no place in football for the kind of personal foul witnessed at the end of the play. Even when the other team is execrable as OSU, keep it clean. Don't sink to their level.

Edit: Special thanks to a friend who took those pictures in the endzone (I pulled the link so that we stop overloading her server).



September 24th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

Hahaha this is amazing. Love it.

I really enjoy OSU FD (Fat Dork), the second picture with Brutus looking surprised as hell that Rufus is running straight at him, and finally how all of the players act like nothing is going on in the endzone.


September 24th, 2010 at 11:24 AM ^

I think OU's DC get's an RPS +1 for getting Rufus into the backfield so easily.  But poor technique turned an RPS +1 into a TD and 15 yard penalty.

That's BCS-level playcalling but MAC-level execution, I fear.


September 24th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

1.  Why is OSU's line set up perpendicular to the LOS before the snap?  Granted, you've already noted the illegal procedure but what was Sweater Vest thinking in the design of this play.

2.  Though Rufus could/should have been flagged for the late hit in the end zone (not to mention the personal foul and likely ejection for the punch), you've got to admire his passion to play right to the whistle.  Note that he has Brutus wrapped up even during the punch to the head.

oriental andrew

September 24th, 2010 at 11:46 AM ^

but the fact that EVERYONE ignored the OU mascot is hilarious, as if it were all part of a schtick.  It's not until the 7th picture where the female cheerleader glances over that anyone seems to notice what's going on.  In the 9th, there is that dude dancing and leading cheers, kind of looking at the action out of the corner of his eye, but doesn't actually do anything other than smirk.  Classic.


September 24th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

I'm a law school graduate, married, have a 2 year old, and have another child on the way.  I've never been happier than I am in this moment, basking in the glow of the awesome that is beeming off of this diary.


September 24th, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

I checked out your friends website.  It was full of very nice, quality pictures.  But it did not have the picture at the end of your post.  The one where Rufus is caving Brutus's face with a vicious right hook. 

I really would like a high rez picture of that for my Michigan folder.


September 24th, 2010 at 12:52 PM ^

The New Classics.  This post is brilliant is so many ways and I thank you for sharing.

Also, I think I love the fact that mascots expressions can never change, so Brutus is unable to express the pure horror of a man about to be tackled out of nowhere.  Bravo.  Bravo.


September 24th, 2010 at 1:10 PM ^

Despite poor technique, Rufus probably makes the first tackle if his arms were stronger.  An offseason under Barwis and Rufus not only makes the tackle at the 20 but the collateral damage also  takes out the FD.

Wide Open

September 24th, 2010 at 3:27 PM ^

Can't tell if the OSU O-line is set up in a 200-wide, 200 TE package, or in the unorthodox squggle formation they learned from Michigan in the '30s.

...But good grief that was poor blocking. Can you -1 an entire OL on a touchdown?


September 24th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

Can't get enough of the video/pics! This is exactly why you shouldn't have a mascot roaming the sidelines if the mascot is a part of the plant kingdom. It would be great if someone would organize a Brutus beat-down for every game of the season.