Much has been made of the chop block delivered by Auburn's Chaz Ramsey against LSU's Glenn Dorsey in the game almost two weeks ago in Baton Rouge. Time and time again people who must claim to be offensive line experts have complained about Ramsey's actions on the field and the more that happens the more their ignorance becomes apparent.
First let me make it clear that there is no place in the game for the chop block. In no way am I saying that is should be condoned. The problem with people talking about Ramsey and advocating for suspensions for the freshman and fines for Auburn is that they simply don't know what they are talking about.
The mistake on the play came not from Ramsey, but from fellow freshman lineman Lee Ziemba, Several times in the same game, one or both players cut blocked on a defensive lineman on short passes, which is standard procedure for just about any offensive line that zone blocks. On the play in question, Ramsey's responsibility in the zone blocking scheme was to look for the linebacker and if no player came to his gap, to double on Dorsey.
That double down was supposed to be a double cut block, something Auburn and many other teams employ on a regular basis. It is illegal to high-low a player with one player blocking high and the other going low, but perfectly within the rules to double down on a player with both offensive linemen employing a cut block. Instead a freshman made a mistake. Ziemba blocked high instead of cutting his man. Because of that the play turned into a chop block, an illegal play that should have been penalized, It was an unfortunate mistake from two true freshmen working together.
Since that time so-called experts from all over the country have spouted off about something they know nothing about. Instead of finding out the facts before talking or writing, they instead chose to ride the bandwagon and simply report it as a dirty play. Unfortunately that's what everyone has come to expect from many media members. Ride the coattails of someone who reports a story first, no matter if it's true or not. Then, if proven wrong, simply dismiss your mistake and move on.
Perhaps instead of jumping on a story, especially one without any basis in fact, those same people should take a look at the same game. In that game, on several occasions, Dorsey delivered vicious blows to the heads of Auburn offensive linemen without penalty. Those are plays that are supposed to be called, but were not in this game. Has there been any whining from Auburn coaches or players about those calls? No, because it's part of the game. You haven't heard Dorsey complain because he knows it's football. Anything written or talked about on talk shows about those plays? No, again because that's part of the game of football.
In the long run which is the most dangerous to a player? Is it the chop block, which could cause damage to a player's leg and require surgery and even cut short a future career, or is it a blow to the head from a 300 pound defensive tackle that could cause a concussion or worse and lead to serious problems down the road? The answer is both. Both are serious plays, but both are things that happen when you line up big, fast guys that are playing football aggressively.
What gets lost in all the hoopla is that once again, Auburn and LSU played a fantastic football game that went down to the wire. Yes there were some brutally physical plays on both sides, but that's what you expect from two of the top programs in the country that love to punish the opposition on both sides of the ball. Perhaps instead of making up stories and trying to tear down a player who wasn't at fault, the so-called experts can get back to actually doing their jobs and find the facts instead of playing follow the leader.