Yesterday on this very page I carelessly wrote:
It's the strangest thing. It's as if a football coach left the sidelines during a game to go sit in the press box, and the other team and their fans -- millions and millions of fans all over the world -- went wild!But the call may have been premature.
As we all know, the coach has been informally accused of several fouls, and although no flag has yet been thrown against him, the game is far from over. Some of the offenses -- unsportsmanlike conduct, for instance, and unnecessary roughness -- have been extremely flagrant, according to a source usually seen in black-and-white vertical stripes.
Within the black-and-white vertical stripe community, most seem to believe that flagrant offenses such as these are still punishable, as long as a flag is thrown before the end of the game.
What is much less clear, and what may prove to be far more critical: Some of the offenses allegedly committed by the coach may be punishable only if the flag is thrown while he is still on the sidelines.
The coach may be hoping that by the time the officials finish their review and decide to throw a flag -- if they decide to throw a flag at all -- he'll be safe in the press box. If that sounds ludicrous to you, please remember this: most of the rules of football were written back when the game was just an experiment, and they -- or rules much like them -- are still in effect, even at the highest levels, even in this day and age. And back then, there were no press boxes.
In other words, there's a gray area in the rules, and you know how the coach is about gray areas -- always using them to his advantage! And he always works multiple angles, too. For instance, in this case, even if there isn't a specific rule that says they can no longer throw the flag on him because he's no longer on the sideline, there's still a plausible pretext to challenge the lack of such a rule, and of course such a challenge would keep the coach safe and warm in the press box for quite a while.
And you know how the coach is when he has time to think -- he's sure to come up with something!
This much is certain: From the press box, the coach can't pat the players on the butt when they come off the field. And he wouldn't give that up without a good reason: It's his favorite part of the game!