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How George Halas invented the sideline trip

Dec 13, 2010, 10:53 AM EDT

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So the world waits to discover the NFL’s official reaction to The Big Trip; Jets’ assistant Sal Alosi deliberately tripping Dolphins special teammer Nolan Carroll during Sunday’s victory by Miami. As we all seethe in indignation, Rumors & Rants points out that Alosi hardly invented the move. In fact, according to an eyewitness, it was none other than the Grand Old Man of the NFL, George Halas, who may have first applied the trip during a game.

One of my grandfather’s favorite sports stories — he told me this several years ago at Christmas — involves witnessing Halas do the same thing, only a far more egregious example.

As the tale goes — and please keep in mind that my grandpa is as old as Joe Paterno to the day, so he doesn’t have exact dates ready to recite or anything — the Bears were playing the Rams, or maybe it was the Giants, at Wrigley Field. Not surprisingly, some Bears quarterback who came after Sid Luckman threw an interception, and it was most assuredly going to be returned for a touchdown as the opposing defensive back streaked down the sideline with no defender in sight.

That’s when he had the misfortune of running into Halas’ foot, which was conveniently stuck out onto the field for him to trip over. My grandpa recalls there being a 15-yard penalty for this, since Halas seemed to know that regardless of how short the field was, the Bears defense was going to keep their opponents out of the end zone. Sure enough, that was what ended up happening.

Of course, why trip a runner when you can just go out and tackle him?

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Jets sideline trip nothing new [Rumors & Rants]