Alabama Football: Quinton Dial’s Hit on Aaron Murray Was a Legal Block

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw today said commissioner Mike Slive will decide whether Quinton Dial will be suspended, pending a review of the film.

By rule, you can’t hit a defenseless player above the shoulders,” Shaw said. “What the determination needs to be is was this a defenseless player and was contact initiated above the shoulders? When we go through video review of it, that’s what we’ll have to determine. And then you as you break it down, did he lead with the head or lead with the shoulder? From game action, it was a personal foul regardless of how we break it down frame by frame.

The key in all of this is whether Murray was defenseless. To quote Clint Eastwood’s character in Unforgiven, when accused of shooting an unarmed man: Well, he should’ve armed himself.

* * * *

During the SEC Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs, Tide defensive lineman Quinton Dial delivered a bone-jarring hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. The violent hit has been labelled a dirty cheap shot by some, and a clean – if devastating – old-school pop by others. As with everything in sports, it’s been the subject of overheated rhetoric on both sides of the discussion.

As you might expect, Georgia fans and the anti-Alabama crowd have called for suspensions for Dial. Some Alabama fans meanwhile say that hard hits are part of the game, and that Murray should have been on the lookout for the block.

When I set out to write this piece, I came into it from the perspective that it was a borderline call, and the referee chose not to throw a flag. While I sympathize with those that want to make football a safer sport with less potential for permanent injury, I recognize that football is by its nature violent, and that removing all risk from the game is impossible.

I also write for a site dedicated to Alabama Crimson Tide athletics, so the perception will be that my bias is obvious. Despite that, I have tried to be as objective as possible, and weigh the evidence as it is.

And so, on to the facts of the case:

Murray had just thrown an interception, and was running – slowly, it is noted – toward the return. At that point, Murray became a defensive back, who by running to the play is attempting to stop the return of the interception. Dial, at that point is basically an offensive lineman, and threw a block on Murray to prevent him from making a tackle.

The NCAA rule on hitting a defenseless player states:

ARTICLE 14. A defenseless player is one who because his physical position
and focus of concentration is especially vulnerable to injury. Examples of
defenseless players are:

a. A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass.
b. A receiver whose focus is on catching a pass.
c. A kicker in the act of or just after kicking a ball.
d. A kick returner whose focus is on catching or recovering a kick in the
air.
e. A player on the ground at the end of a play.
f. A player obviously out of the play.

True enough, Murray was making only a half-hearted effort to pursue the play. Dial was in essence getting a free, legal shot at the quarterback. But was Murray really defenseless, or was he not paying attention to his surroundings?

At the moment of impact, Dial lowers his shoulder, delivers the hit, and drives his forearm through the block. It’s a vicious – and legal – hit.

The problem is that for an instant, Dial’s helmet contacts Murray’s helmet, immediately jerking Murray’s head backward. Dial appears to have his head up the entire time; he doesn’t lower it to deliver a helmet-to-helmet hit. However, by delivering the shoulder block as he did, the result is the same.

The NCAA rule on helmet contact is as follows:

ARTICLE 3. No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. When in question, it is a foul. (Rule 9-6.)

While film review indicates helmet contact did occur, in my judgement the helmet contact was incidental to the hit, not the point of attack. It’s very close, and perception of the incident absolutely could be clouded – for or against – by one’s biases.

On replay a referee enters the frame, and while it’s impossible to tell, it appears his focus is on the interception return happening some 15 feet from the block on Murray. If the ref saw the impact and turned to look in that direction, he would likely only have seen Dial finishing the block and landing on the fallen quarterback.

Given all of this, it’s hard to see how a flag could have been thrown for unnecessary roughness. It was a devastating block that happened to include brief incidental helmet-to-helmet contact.

Okay, but now we have the benefit of replay. We can now see the play in slow-motion. Shouldn’t Dial be suspended for the BCS title game for the helmet-to-helmet contact?

Once again, here’s the NCAA on reviewing a foul that was not called during the game:

ARTICLE 3. If subsequent review of a game by a conference reveals plays
involving flagrant personal fouls that game officials did not call, the conference
may impose sanctions prior to the next scheduled game.

Aside from the breathless editorials calling for Dial’s suspension and public shaming, there has been no word from the SEC or the NCAA that the play is being reviewed. That could change, and there is plenty of time for a review between now and the BCS Championship game.

My opinion is that it was a borderline but legal block, and that no action will be taken to suspend Dial. That could change at any time, and I’ll no doubt hear about it from Georgia fans at that time.

In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you. Was the block a cheap shot, or hardnosed football? Should Dial sit out the BCS title game, or should Murray have kept his head in the game?

Topics: Alabama Crimson Tide, Football

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  • http://www.facebook.com/toney.brooks Toney Brooks

    Grown man football. Dial was playing the game and paying attention, Murray wasn’t. End of story. CBS coverage at the time was absurd — but those two seldom know what just happened.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bret.timmons Bret Timmons

    Fair…ball was still in play after the reception. At the point of the interception, Murray is a defender and was moving towards making a play to stop the run back. IF Dial had done anything else he would have been subject to scrutiny as well due to his size. WE have a case of big player hitting little player…I believe if the larger Dial had really wanted to hit him…it would have severely hurt Murray…Murray obviously was stunned but not hurt.

    • BamaHammer

      I think you’ve hit on a key point. If this had been against a center instead of a quarterback, we likely wouldn’t be having this discussion. As it was, Murray took the shot and popped back up. He said the wind was knocked out of him, which is a lot less than if Dial had been headhunting.

  • http://twistedmuser.com/ Twisted Muser

    I think it looked worse than it was because Murray was not focused on his surroundings as he should have been. If no one had made the block and Murray tackled the Alabama player returning the ball, don’t you think there would have been words then? ROLL TIDE!

    • BamaHammer

      If Murray had made the play on the interception return, I think Saban would have politely asked Dial why he had not made a block on Murray, perhaps over a nice glass of milk after the game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jane.b.ray.77 Jane Barrett Ray

    I am an Alabama football fan and that was a dirty shot by Dial – plain and simple.

    • BamaHammer

      Id ask: dirty based on what? Intent? Personal preference? If looking at the NCAA rules – which is what actually determines whether a play was dirty – it’s certainly a debatable call.

      • http://www.facebook.com/1Shantastic Shannon Bowles

        There was a Ref near by when Dial tackled Murray and he didn’t even hint at throwing a flag.

        • Ted

          Then he admitted that he missed it after seeing the replay.

      • Ted

        “When in question, it is a foul” I think that counts as debatable.

  • rob

    this his was malacious helmet to helmet (but what 19 year old DE doesnt dream of a chance to clock someone who isnt paying attention). I think he may have been lucky that the half eneded and he didnt have to step back on the field and i have a feeling Bama will be short a player for the big dance on Jan. 7th (pending review). However you will still beat ND by 25

  • renegadesix

    “Alabama defensive lineman Quinton Dial should have been penalized in the SEC Championship Game for his hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said today.” Not even debatable. The umpire was watching the interception instead of his area of responsibility. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/12/sec_alabamas_quinton_dial_shou.html

  • http://twitter.com/littlewalton Roz Hughes-Walton

    You are OUT OF YOUR MIND if you can’t watch your OWN imbedded video and SEE Dial’s HELMET DIRECTED RIGHT AT THE HEAD of Murray!! And, THAT is from a RTR fan of over 40 years!!! He SHOULD BE BENCHED!!! POOOOOOOOOOOR SPORTSMANSHIP and he could have INTENTIONALLY done SERIOUS HARM to his colleague. This is COLLEGE FOOTBALL…it doesn’t come with the same rules as the NFL. There is a reason for that!!! It was FAR MORE INTENTIONAL of a HELMET TO HELMET HIT than the one that McCarron’s hit was called against UGA for doing!! #SuspendDial

    • Tammy

      WAA WAAA WAA……BIG BOY UP DAWG they arent calling tuscaloosa title town for nothing. Our program, coaching staff, players, and fans play,win, and lose with class and pride. yet another lesson some of ya’ll missed. what were you watching an old lsu game maybe cause thats about who your describing? BOOO HOOO HOOO see ya at bcs….oh wait no we won’t….but ya’ll see us ya haters keep it up….just keeps the motivation up here.ROLL TIDE LITTLE GIRLS

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.rollins.58 Michael Rollins

        I thought you said Alabama fans had class. You certainly aren’t showing any.

        • Chris Turner

          From a Bama fan I agree Michael!

        • bowen

          I agree too, tammy is a bit of a hypocrite.

      • Ted

        Didn’t your “classy” fans tea bag a guy after the game and poison 100+ year-old trees? LOL you really don’t have a “class and pride” card available for a very long time. Win, yes. Class, find anyone wearing solid colors (i.e. not hounds tooth) and see if they agree with you there.

    • Chris Turner

      look again, his helmet was aiming at the front of his shoulder pads, which is what all blockers are taught to do, get your head in front of the person you are blocking and its legal. Murray turned his head at the last second, By the way, this is football, and its TACKLE football. if he doesn’t want to get hit tryout for cheerleading.

      • Ted

        There’s a big difference between playing tough football and trying to injure someone. Fully agree with Roz. I’m glad there are still some classy fans representing this storied University and not just the very vocal rednecks I tend to see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/billy.clinton.7796 Billy Clinton

    It’s called football. What do people expect? Since when did the quarterback become untouchable?
    Why don’t they just get it over with and put a skirt on them and declare them untouchable.

  • http://twitter.com/PeachsInGa PeachsInGa

    SEC is thinking differently. You may be a player short for your National Championship game…..http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2012/quinton-dial-aaron-murray-hit/

  • Majordawg

    League office says he should have been flagged. I’m shocked you guys came down on the wrong side of this, though. Being so objective, and all. Can you win with some grace and accept the fact that your guy laid a dirty hit on the QB? It happens, just accept it and take your trophy and accept that nothing comes without a couple flaws.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.lyons.10 Kirk Lyons

      Well majordawg if the League Office says there should have been a flag thrown, then please tell me why the “legal block” Isn’t being reviewed by the SEC or by The NCAA.

      • Ted

        What “league office” do you think he’s talking about? I don’t think they can throw a flag on it anymore. The game already ended. That’s why he used past tense “should have been flagged” not “will be flagged.” I don’t think it was a suspendable hit, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t dirty.

  • R Bama fans really this dumb?

    It was not a hit on a defenseless player. It was a block…

    BUT: It was a helmet to helmet hit, you admit it. It doesn’t matter if it was incidental or if that wasn’t the target of the hit or if he’s really sorry. Helmet to helmet hits are illegal even if they are unintentional or incidental. Also “when in question it is a foul.” So your point that it is questionable affirms that it should have been penalized. Everyone in the comments is talking about how people need to be playing “grown man” football, be more aware, etc… your qualms are with the current ncaa rules that protect players. Not the people who rightly point out that this was an illegal hit.

    I wish they had thrown the flag in the game so that he wouldn’t have to be penalized after the fact. As it stands now Bama may be short a player in the national championship.

    Alec Ogletree was hit with a roughing the passer call because there was helmet to helmet contact earlier in the game. Refs need to be consistent. If you’re upset about people calling Dail’s hit illegal you should be just as upset for the ref’s punishing Ogletree for playing “Grown Man” football.

    • allie renee

      Look the video footage over again Dial clearly leads with his shoulder but due to the impact of the hit Murrays helmet hit Dials. It also depends on the angle you look at it but from the refs angle it wasnt helmet to helmet it only looked that way because of the post hit reaction

      • Tammy

        thank you allie and it==the rules clearly read ARTICLE 3. No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. When in question, it is a foul. (Rule 9-6.

        • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.lyons.10 Kirk Lyons

          That’s right Tammy and to make contact with the crown of your helmet you have to be looking at the ground. and you can clearly see that Dails head was up and looking right at Murray.

          • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

            But the stripe on your helmet hits directly with the chin/cheek area of Murray. &, from the video, they didn’t touch facemasks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/veronica.e.roling Veronica Espinoza Roling

        No, I am pretty sure “Dial’s helmet hit Murrays.” A simple block would have done the job of preventing this monsterous defensive powerhouse from making a play.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

          That’s not sufficient to make it illegal unless Murray is a defenseless player (i.e., not under his own power). He is clearly able to move around the field just fine, ergo not defenseless.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.lyons.10 Kirk Lyons

      R You Really This Dumb watch the replay Dail was looking right at Murray the whole time. And you need to read the rule on a helmet to helmet hit. The rule stats that the player must be leading with his helmet which means head down and wanting to hurt someone.

  • http://twitter.com/NesJr19 Nestor León, Jr.

    If we’re talking about someone being aware of their surroundings, then Dial should have recognized that Murray wasn’t truly going after the interception returner (as stated in this article, “Murray was making only a half-hearted effort to pursue the play.) If Dial was paying attention as most people are posting here, he would have noticed Murray’s “half-hearted” effort and made a “half-hearted” block. I am by no means opposed to hard-hitting, bone-crushing football… but that was definitely a “cheap shot.” In addition, the “incidental” helmet contact on this play was much worse than the “incidental” helmet contact on McCarron that GA was flagged instantly. ~ Fan of Neither Team

    • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.lyons.10 Kirk Lyons

      Nestor your out of your mind if you think the helmet contact was worse on Dails legal block on Murray than it was on McCarron. The Ga. player went in with his head down and hit McCarron on the chin. You sir need to go back and watch the replay of each hit.

      • Ted

        McCarron’s hit was already underway when he released the ball and he hit him in the chest. No part of this is even similar except that they’re both qbs. Why can’t you accept that you’re simply wrong on this? No one outside Tuscaloosa thinks this was a clean hit. The league says it was a blown call. The ref even said he missed the call! Refs aren’t known for admitting when they’re wrong but this one did on that play. That’s how clear it was that this should’ve been a penalty.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alan.rollins.18 Alan Rollins

      Looked like a half-hearted block to me,it’s only because Dial is so big compared to Murray,had he been headhunting and blocked hard Murray would not have gotten up so quick,it seems to me that you and all these other “Experts” should apply for jobs at tv announcing or being Refferee,it’s over let it go

    • Bob Papadazzio

      Alright, so if Murray wasn’t going after the returner then answer one simple question… why the hell is he jogging toward the ALABAMA sideline?

    • Bob Papadazzio

      If Murray wasn’t going after the return man, why was he running in the opposite direction of his own bench after throwing an interception?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mford14 Mike Fordham

    At this point, arguing about it doesn’t mean a thing, as the hit had ZERO impact on the outcome of the game. Georgia hit McCarron, Bama hit Murray. Get over it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

      & Georgia was penalized – Bama wasn’t.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DannyBowen Danny Bowen

        Georgia did it on a defenseless player.. there is a huge difference when a QB throws a pick, he is then a defender and not subject to the same rules as a QB who is passing, a receiver in the process of catching, or a Kicker in the process of kicking.

        • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

          &, per Shaw, a penalty should have been called reguardless.

          • Chris Turner

            Shaw had a kneejerk reaction that had to have been clouded by the idiots calling the game. I played cornerback and safety, I took more than 1 of these type blocks from pulling guards, its legal, No-one cries when a defensive player gets hit like that, oh wait, at that point Murray was a defensive player not a defenseless player
            …..hmmmmm

  • Arby

    Alabama’s quarterback was hit PENALTY called, Georgia’s quarterback hit NO PENALTY CALLED, that’s difference ! Nether player had the ball !!

  • Arby

    Grown Man Football ?? How about fair play ? That’s grown man football

    • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.lyons.10 Kirk Lyons

      Please tell me what was unfair, Murray had just threw a pick which made him a defensive player, and he was running toward the play and Dail made a block on him. But by no means was it a helmet to helmet shot. Are an unfair shot, maybe it will teach Murray to keep his head on a swivel after he throws an interception like I’m sure he is thought to do.

      • Ted

        “We missed the call,” Shaw said. I’ll go with the part where the league acknowledges it was a dirty hit and is considering whether to suspend Dial. Yeah, I’m thinking the boss of the SEC’s refs might have a better understanding than you on what is a clean play.

  • Arby

    That’s not a love tap, it’s a hard hit !

  • Pk

    It was helmet to helmet, he was out of the play; you just disproved the title of your article!

    • Tammy

      shoulder went in first….watched the slow mo

      • Ted

        McCarron drew a flag on a hit to the chest. Watched the replay.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

          Lol. I took you somewhat seriously up until now. The hit on McCarron was only incidentally to the head, I grant. And I always thought that was a borderline call. But it’s helmet to helmet on a passer, so I see why the laundry came out. The difference here is that you are not allowed to hit a passer in the head at all, whereas you are not allowed to hit a defenseless player in the head *first*.
          Step 1: Learn the rules.
          Step 2: Actually watch the play, disregarding your own biases.
          Step 3: Come back and argue with at the big boys’ table.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.lyons.10 Kirk Lyons

      PK Dail led with his shoulder and never lowered his head. I know that your just looking at the contact of the two helmets. But it was the force of the legal block that caused the helmets to come into contact.

      • Ted

        The top of Dial’s helmet with Murray’s facemask. Hmm, unless Murray is exceptionally taller than ESPN has led me to believe, or Dial dropped his head to make the hit. Let’s look at the replay. Oh look, there it is! “When in doubt, it is a foul.” At a minimum, it was unclear, which is a foul.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

          Helmet=/= crown of helmet. Literacy. Come on.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

      Out of the play? He’s running toward the ball carrier, and had ample time to get to him if he picked up speed. Usually, on blocks, we only really see “out of the play” called when the block is behind the ball-carrier or nearly on the opposite side of the field.

      • Ted

        Or when a defender uses an interception as an excuse to injure an opposing qb. The game is getting too soft, for sure. Doesn’t change the rules which gave McCarron a pitifully soft flag a couple possessions earlier. You’re defending a player trying to injure another player. That’s just thuggery. I seem to remember a lot of Bama fans up in arms against Fairly a couple years ago for doing very similar things. Funny how different the group-opinion is when your team is doing the hitting.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

          I don’t think that the game is getting too soft, incidentally. I am all for protecting players. I’m just not for protecting quarterbacks by reinterpreting rules which exist for every single block in the game so that they are stricter when the quarterback is suddenly the one in position to make a tackle.

    • Bob Papadazzio

      If he was out of the play, why was he running toward the Alabama bench after throwing an interception?

  • Do She

    @tonyorlando: Golf clap with your hack job rules interpretation. But, your Crimson shades look great.

    Brief incidental helmet-to-helmet contact? Murray’s helmet twists before his body moves at all. You even went to the trouble of making a gif to show the hit? Why not call it like it is instead of being a homer.

    Dial led with the helmet and initiated contact with Murray’s helmet. The SEC will come out and say there should have been a penalty, but of course will not suspend him. Must… protect… conference…

  • Tanker74

    When a crybaby pussy like Murray gets knocked down, officials generally won’t call it because they’re disgusted he’s even on the field. I loved the Waterboy look on his face before Dial lowered the boom!

    • http://www.facebook.com/derek.wagner.79 Derek Wagner

      i liked the look on your momma’s face after i lowered my boom all over it—-tanker your a f&#$ing moron!!!!!go kiss your momma and tell us what it taste like

      • Tanker74

        When you pay Tiffany one of your special late night daddy visits, see what I taste like, loser.

    • Whiteshadow

      I think it was the Alabama QB who was whining to the official after his late hit. I don’t remember Murray crying at all. People like you are the reason the rest of the country would disagree that Alabama has classy fans.

      • Tanker74

        Enjoy your bowl game. Which one not in the BCS is it again?

        • Ted

          Which one are you: the guy who teabagged the LSU fan or the guy who poisoned the trees? The classless section of Bama’s fan base all look the same to me.

          • Tanker74

            Neither, but it’s my understanding most LSU fans and you enjoy balls in your face and in your mouth. As for the A-barn trees, they recently set them on fire so they don’t really need any help killing their beloved “Tumor” Corner Oaks.

  • http://www.motherjones.com/ Joe Cass

    Dial should never be allowed to play the game again, ever. Bama is always proud of the wrong things.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tommy.williams.96558 Tommy Williams

      Are you retarded? You want to end a guys career because of a “bad” second in his life. If you have any integrity, the next time you make a bad decision that could cost your company you should quit your job and never work in that profession again. I don’t usually comment on these site, but you are rediculous.

      • http://www.motherjones.com/ Joe Cass

        A proud “Bama alumni. It’s ridiculous. Idiot.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

          Alumnus*. He is an alumnus*. He and any other alumnus are collectively alumni. Quite aside from being dead wrong about all of your expressed opinions, you think you are arguing against more than one person, apparently.

      • Ted

        He makes a good point, though extreme. If this was a UGA player, we’d collectively say “that was bad, he should be punished” and point to the other 80 plays that weren’t dirty and say “I’m proud of that hard-fought win.” You lose credibility when you’re blind to your team’s mistakes.

    • Tammy

      so talking pride in a sports program rich in history, traditions, great coaches/players who show sportsmanship, pride and class on and off the field is suppose to be wrong. Again you must mistake up with lsu thug life maybe. Or maybe admit when and where we whipped ur teams butts to make you bitter…..or maybe your team doesnt have the significance to gain mention with the big boys

      ROLL TIDE HATERS!!!1

      • Ted

        Last year a Bama fan was arrested for tea bagging a passed-out LSU fan after a win. The year before, a Bama fan was arrested for poisoning 100+ year old trees because he was upset over a loss. Your traditions have become severely diluted with classless rednecks. I suggest you reconsider your loyalties and focus on what’s made your school great in the past instead of taking pride in thug behavior.

        • Tammy

          1 thing there are hillbilly fans nationwide not all SEC school fans. 2 i focused my comment on coaches/players and not fans who sadly do stupid things at times. Bama fans walk around our hometown lots of sats in the fall being yelled at with vulgar hate filled comments from people pissed they just a game….and most of us smile holler ROLL TIDE AND KEEP WALKING. Make a trip and i’d promise you will see this all day long. Sore losers just cant contain their hatred.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kirk.lyons.10 Kirk Lyons

      Joe your an idiot, please do us a favor and don’t make anymore comments.

      • http://www.motherjones.com/ Joe Cass

        You betcha! The minute Alabama moves into the 21st century. Everything about you is disgusting and confederate. Just how many graduates of that idiot mill remain in state? Of course you’d be proud of a blind side; you haven’t the courage or the skill it takes to face a man.

        • Bob Papadazzio

          How did he “blind side” him when he hit him squarely in the chest?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ChristopherALackey Chris Lackey

    I am a diehard Bama fan to the core but it was dirty, I don’t care what interpretation is made of the rules. The reason it was dirty is because it was completely unnecessary. I love football as much as anyone and played for the large part of my childhood. I was on the giving, and receiving, end of such hits and one gave me a serious concussion and almost benched me for good. As a fan with class, I want hard nosed football, but I don’t want to see someone hurt (which could have easily happened) unnecessarily. That steps beyond the boundary of sportsmanship, no matter what the rules say. He’s coached better, he knew better and he did it anyway. Low class move and should have consequences.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

      If someone lowers the boom on a safety to make a similar block, in a case where the safety doesn’t see them, do you think that it should be called?

      More importantly: Do you think it warrants a suspension?

    • Bob Papadazzio

      “it was dirty, I don’t care what interpretation is made of the rules.”

      Way to totally discredit your own opinion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gmbond George Bond

      Chris, You are a level headed true Football Fan

  • donny

    Football is a mans sport. Its not one for the weak or for the pansies. If you can’t take a hit then try playing a different sport.

    • Ted

      That’s right! AJ didn’t get this message, though, and he’s coming back for another year of pleading to the ref for a flag after falling down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.bradley.756 Anthony Bradley

    The losers always want to blame or find fault with the referees. The referee was right there and saw it. If he felt that was illegal he would have thrown a flag. GA fans have class except for a few whiners. We are taking about the state that produced honey boo boo and family.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

      & what’s wrong with varifying an incorrect call? Especially a head-to-head hit?

      • Tammy

        ARTICLE 3. No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. When in question, it is a foul. (Rule 9-6.

        Can u whine sacks not comprehend ‘CROWN OF HELMET’

        • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

          Can you admit that it was still a penalty that wasn’t called?
          Also, from the video above you’re defending, it wasn’t too far from being the crown. A good 3-4″ ABOVE the facemask. The white stripe on your helmet looks to make contact with the cheek/chin area of Murray. Last I checked, that stripe goes over the crown of the head/helmet.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

            Yes, your forehead is somewhere close to the top of your head. But the rule doesn’t state that “the stripe” is the determining factor. It states that “the crown” is the determining factor. Hopefully the SEC officials are smarter than you.

          • Bob Papadazzio

            Why should they admit it was a penalty? To spare your feelings about losing the game? That’s like someone asking a random guy to cop to murder just so they can have some closure.
            “Not far from” makes not one lick of difference. There is no penalty for “leading with an area not far from the crown of the helmet”

            The rule clearly says you must lead with the crown of your helmet for the penalty to be called, and regardless of whether you like it or not incidental helmet-to-helmet is NOT a penalty!

          • Ted

            “When in questions, it is a foul.” The league said it was a blown call; the ref said he blew the call; Bama fans still say “nuh uh, it was clean!”

          • Bob Papadazzio

            That stripe also goes over the forehead of the helmet. Are you saying the forehead is the same as the crown?

            You literally make not one bit of sense.

        • Ted

          What part of “when in questions, it is a foul” do you not get?

          • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

            “When in question” can only mean, by any reasonable interpretation, “If there is a chance that”. Looking at the tape, there is no chance that the crown of the helmet led. There is no question that the crown of the helmet did not lead. Again, I hope that the SEC officials are smarter than the average Georgia fan.

    • Ted

      We’re all from the deep south, let’s not start throwing mud, or honey as it were. The league seems to think it was a foul and the ref has said he blew the call. Every part of this argument is wrong and demonstrably so.

  • Ricky Turner

    you biased asshole, if that call had went the other way you would be calling for his head……

    • Tammy

      your wrong we dont boo hoo and whine….we get up and kick ass

      • Ted

        What’s that about Auburn in 2010? I think there was a LOOOOOOOT of whining then. Also, it took a brain fart by a UGA sophomore WR to seal your win. A decent play then and you’d be on your way to Orlando instead of Miami. Hard-fought win but not exactly an ass-kicking.

        • Tammy

          Teddy boy get over it….your screaming sore loser…..they cheated us…..over and over and over. do you need a binky or maybe a lil cheese with that whine

  • http://www.facebook.com/clarence.smitherman Clarence Smitherman

    When are they going to review the eye gouge by Georgia’s player on Dee Milliner?

    • http://www.facebook.com/gill.hook.5 Gill Hook

      According to ESPN there may be several suspensions handed out in this game. Both teams could be missing a few players for the bowl games. Damn you mean I have to miss the capital one game against Nebraska? Please suspend me!

      • http://www.facebook.com/gill.hook.5 Gill Hook

        I wish they would suspend the Bama fan sitting next to me at the game. He was rubbing and scratching his crotch all night. He must have weighed in at 400 and was eating a chili dog. He said he had been to Sabens house before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

    Funny – Slive called it illegal.

    http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/12/sec_alabamas_quinton_dial_shou.html

    “”By rule, you can’t hit a defenseless player above the shoulders,” Shaw said. “What the determination needs to be is was this a defenseless player and was contact initiated above the shoulders? When we go through video review of it, that’s what we’ll have to determine. And then you as you break it down, did he lead with the head or lead with the shoulder? From game action, it was a personal foul regardless of how we break it down frame by frame.”"

    Still a penalty against Alabama that wasn’t called.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.miller.92351 Patrick Miller

    i have a honest question. has any offensive player ever been flagged for hitting a defenseless defensive player? if not, then what’s the argument?

    • Tammy

      AGAIN ARTICLE 3. No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. When in question, it is a foul. (Rule 9-6.

      reach up and touch the crown of ur own head…..its on top (well n most states not sure about ga) thats not what happened……WAA WAAA

      • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

        & why WASN’T this even in question?

        • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

          “I questioned it! See look, it’s illegal and worth a ban!”

          • Ted

            …is exactly what the ref coordinator and league officials said.

          • Guest

            … after intense pressure from Georgia fans, initiated by the two stupidest commentators on television.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

            … after being harangued by hordes of stupid Georgia fans who were incited by even stupider television commentators.

    • Ted

      Yes, frequently! It’s typically a hit on a D-back, but it happens. Cheap shots are cheap shots regardless what number is on the jersey.

  • Cindy

    In my opinion I guess Alabama got tired of Georgia trying to intentionally hurt their players. Georgia started roughing it up before Alabama did. If a Alabama player got a good one in on one of them then it was deserved. And they are going to complain about ANYTHING with one of the Georgia players intentionally poking one of Alabamas players in the eye in plain view? oh really? Stop whining and lets move on to the National Championship game!

    • Whiteshadow

      Sounds like you’re the one whining right now

    • Ted

      Millner did get poked, in the fourth quarter… Also, UGA had 8 penalties called to Bama’s 2. It was rough on both sides, Bama just got yards for it. Also, concussions end careers (Murray was checked during halftime) eye poking doesn’t.

  • Tammy

    Good gravy, alabama plays with more class and style than most of our opponents can even comprehend sometimes against teams who play like they practice on a prison yard all wk…..when we see one of their thug like moves and wonder ‘where’s the flag’ we get over it and get back to playing and winning a ballgame NOT whining like little girls who didn’t know they may get knocked down a few times on top of losing a game. Bama fan since birth and if hating our program, players, coaching staff and fans is how other schools choose to reflect their JEALOUSY then to bad for them. Is it affecting the bama fan base or the winning ride that keeps getting sweeter and sweeter……not in this t-town girls eyes.

    In answer to your final questions….no cheap shot, just big boy football…..Dial earned and deserves to play in BCS, and Murray was in forward motion (or making it appear he was/…….he shoulda paid attention and remembered when our awesome tide is moving the ball all effort will be made to protect the runner and keep it going. Its just good football. GA fans and all their whining supporters need to get over the boo hoo hoo excuses, face their lose, grow a pair for some of them and if they hate us so bad pull for notre dame in a few wks if it makes em feel a lil better. Then go home get their tails from between their legs, start looking at tapes and try to figure out what we’re doing that they cant seem to manage, put their skirts down and try again next yr.

    ROLL TIDE ROLL

    • Whiteshadow

      I don’t remember Murray getting up and whining about that hit. As I recall he walked to the sideline like a man. What I do remember is mccaron crying and complaining to the official when he was “hit late” and what do you know he got a flag thrown. Most bama fans realize it was a cheap shot, legal or not. But it’s the few like you that make the rest of the country think you’re all a bunch of redneck idiots. Celebrate the win and go beat Norte dame. But for gods sake stop lying to yourself and everyone else that this was just good football.

      • Tammy

        never said he whined or didnt man up….said the fans did. Comment bout putting skirts down and bringing it next yr is an old ray ramano joke. Lets do it again it was an awesome game for both teams. sometimes trash talk can go to far I suppose. But had you grown up where i did my entire life, then saw that town destroyed by a monster tornado, the entire town came together and coach saban, staff, players, and our last awesome coach, Mr Gene Stallings were all out the next morning with coaches running huge grills while players, etc worked HARD in a major disaster area. It was very impressive and as far from ‘thug’ as it gets. So maybe bama fans do tend to get defensive at times.

        As to this argument i say, it was a serious hard hitting game, Both teams played well, we could argue it from now on but its not going to change how the officials ruled it or the outcome of the game. So good game, good luck in bowl season and next yr. Is all good for the SEC in the end right

        And by the way myself and family are as close to a bunch of redneck idiots as the as the Royal family might be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

      & a bad call or illegal hit should just be overlooked?

      Seriously, had the teams been reversed, you would sit back & keep quiet?

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

        It’s football. This hit was only arguably illegal, in which case it would have been overlooked. Would have been 15 yards at most if called in game, but now he should miss a whole game for a questionable call on a block? There was a missed personal foul call (dead ball eye poke) the other way, and I’m not calling for the banning of the player. So your accusation of hypocrisy rests on shaky ground too.

        • Ted

          Roughing each other up after a play =/= trying to end someone’s career by blasting his helmet off. In the pros, that’s an auto-suspension. The only “argument” about the hit is from Bama fans with blinders on screaming that it was clean (e.g. this article). If it was called during the play it would’ve been 15 yards from the foul or what amounts to about a 40 yard penalty after return. That might’ve made a difference.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

            Three points:

            1) Yet again, complete failure to interact with reality or the arguments. You have not shown it was a foul, or how if it was a foul, why it is more than incidental that the helmet hit first (but that requires you to show that the QB was “defenseless”, which he wasn’t by the rules).

            2) Deadball personal fouls are definitionally worse than identical personal fouls during a play, because you can prove intent.

            3) Eye-pokes can blind people, yo. I don’t know how many NFL or major conference NCAA players are blind in one or more eye, but I can’t think of one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

            Actually a fourth too. This was not 25 yards behind the play, nor was the ball-carrier 25 yards downfield at the time. I am starting to question whether you watched this game.

    • Ted

      You’re blaming the guy who got hit for allowing the illegal hit to happen. Let’s see if we can replace a few words and make that more fun! “If he/she didn’t want me to ____ him/her, they should’ve stopped me.” You should get a shirt with that printed and wear it out in T-town.

      • Tammy

        if i played football for a major SEC team maybe i would need to print those up for opposing teams so rather than whine they’d remember their playing a hard hitting contact sport’….DUH….or maybe shirts saying ‘damn that bama….boo hoo hoo they beat us and now we need a complaint to claim we were ‘cheated cause bama played dirty” waa waa waa save that plan for LSU maybe…..thugs

  • http://www.facebook.com/darren.esterline Darren Esterline

    I want a walt jockety fathead so I can take healthy fucking shit on it!!!

  • Joel Robbins

    two things… one if he (the qtr bck) didn’t want to be hit, he should not have pursued even if only half heartedly toward and advancing ball carrier. would we be saying what a great tackle the qtr bck made if he had gone on in un-opposed?… second contact is expected in football. yes this was one of many hits, only this one was viewed by millions.. so should we go back and view EVERY play and player , in every game to find other “no calls” so that they all could share in no call penalties? It was a legal block by goliath on a shepherd boy, if he doesn’t care to be hit, he should take up golf or knitting….Capt. Joel Robbins

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bennett.10 Wayne Bennett

      So, the qb should just stand there & not prevent the player from moving the ball forward? That sounds like saying a pitcher in baseball would just stand around & let the infield do everything.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

        If the quarterback wants to play defense then you get to block him. This hit would never be flagged on a run block. Why should it be flagged here?

        • Ted

          Because 1. he led with his head 2. he blocked with clear intent to injure 3. it would be called on a RB or WR or anyone else and often is called.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brad.erthal Brad Erthal

            1. Leading with the head is perfectly legal on a block. You just can’t lead with the crown.

            2. How do you see “intent” here at all? I think he probably intended to block a player who was trying to tackle his teammate. Hey, look at me, I can read a player’s mind!

            3. I’m sorry, have you ever watched a running play before? Or a kickoff, at any level, for that matter?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MDWozzQ50Y

      • Joel Robbins

        absolutely not the qb needs to protect his goal to keep the interceptor from scoring…but don’t whine when the other side does what they are supposed to do… block with all prejudice…

    • Ted

      This is like a few weeks ago in the NFL when Tampa charged the line on a kneel by the Giants. The douche of a coach defended it as “playing tough football” etc. Just like this hit, the rest of the world understands that there is a big difference between playing tough football and trying to injure someone.

      All of this discussion isn’t because of an article saying “Dial should be suspended, rabble rabble rabble!” it’s because of an article saying “that was a totally clean hit!” It wasn’t a clean hit; the league and ref on the play acknowledge that it wasn’t a clean hit and that they blew the call. Only Bama fans willing to blind themselves to any mistake made by their team argue otherwise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DannyBowen Danny Bowen

    I think it was Aaron Murray that hit DIAL with HIS Helmet.

  • Nick

    While everyone is arguing about the hit and Dial’s malicious intent and whether or not to suspend him, let’s ban chop blocks! Also, remove the counter from the play book. These both allow the offensive line to make as some call “cheap shots” on the defensive line. But wait, its the name of the game. Murrary might as well taken off his cleats and put on ballerina slippers. He shouldn’t have been in the area. You think coaches want their highly recruited QB to make tackles after an interception? Hell no. No sympathy for him. Ndamukong Suh, Brian Urlacher, and Troy Polamalu would have all done the same thing. Here is some advice: KEEP YOUR HEAD ON A SWIVEL.

    • Ted

      You don’t like the rules, I don’t like the rules, doesn’t change what they are. As it is now, it was a dirty hit. Let’s harden the game back up and it’s not (just like McCarron’s flag).

  • BamaHammer

    The response to this post has been amazing. We’ve been thinking about starting a message board for just this kind of back-and-forth discussion and throwdown. You guys may have helped make that decision for us.

  • Gibroni

    Non SEC fan here… this dude has got to be kidding me that is not an illegal hit on Murray. Dial clearly popped his head up at the end to clock Murray in the facemask.. C’mon Man!

  • Bruce

    Bama fans. Go get your step ladder. Climb to the roof of your trailer. Don’t fall now. Adjust that antenna. Now take one of those beer bottles scattered in your yard, break one end off. Don’t cut yourself. Now watch the replay through the end of the beer bottle. OK, now you can see the picture much clearer. That POS led with his head. Helmet to helmet. Period. Slime won’t suspend him because the Tide will have their hands full with a real football team and Slime and his trailer trash friends want more rings so they can take them to the pawn shop to swap for more hubcaps.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gill.hook.5 Gill Hook

    The problem is the actions he took before the hit. In the full screen version of the play he lets several UGA players go by without trying to block them. You can tell he has one person in mind to “block”. I would be mad at him for not trying to block someone in the play. He could have blocked one of the guys that actually was in on the tackle. The headhunting is what will get him suspended not the hit.

  • disqus_bp0aYZl5vc

    Cheap shot. No one mentions how ogletree was flagged for nailing mccarron when they defend dial for doing the same aganst murry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/veronica.e.roling Veronica Espinoza Roling

    A simple block would have done the job of preventing this monsterous defensive powerhouse from making a play.