GUEST RANT: The Flea-Flicker

Since this is the biggest sports audience I will probably ever have, I might as well go public with my longstanding NFL rant: the flea-flicker is not a trick-play. It's a play-fake. And it should be called once a quarter.

Okay, once a quarter is pushing it. But it is grossly underused. Why is it that most pro offenses average 1-2 end-arounds a game, but maybe 0.3 flea-flickers? Sure there's risk involved, but how much more risky than a toss-sweep, or a reverse, or any of this Wildcat crap. You're telling me that asking Rex Grossman or JP Losman to throw over the middle is less risky than a flea-flicker?

Is everyone so traumatized by Joe Theismann that the play is still kind of taboo 25 years after the fact? (NB: I'm sure that if Lawrence Taylor knew that his hit was going to propel Theismann into the broadcast booth-where he would exact a slow and painful revenge upon all of us—he never would have crossed the line of scrimmage.)

Obviously the success rate would decrease the more frequently the flea is flicked or the flick is flea-d or whatever. But if "failure" is reconceptualized as an incomplete pass rather than a fumbled lateral or a compound fracture, the flea flicker can be reshuffled from "trick play" column to the "play action" column; where coaches can use it 4-5 times a game instead of 4-5 times a season. And why not?

It works, goddammit! It really works!