A couple of folks in the past year have offered me an idea that I really liked, but needed to wait on until we entered the offseason death zone of mid May-early August. Historical Draw Plays! Now that news will be less frequent, it’ll be nice to delve back into football history and make some comics about stuff from when The Draw Play didn’t exist. I figured this would offer a good first historical comic, because I love a good meta joke.

So let’s learn a bit of history! Most people I’d wager know what a Draw Play is. it’s the opposite to Play Action. You pretend to pass, then hand it off. The goal is to trick the defense into committing to the pass while the O-line is able to maneuver the defenders into a position that allows holes to open up for the RB once he takes the delayed handoff. When used and timed correctly, a runner  usually has a ton of room as defenders have to scramble to come back. The disadvantage is if the d-line gets any meaningful penetration or sees the play coming, the play is pretty likely to result in a loss, since the RB doesn’t get the ball very quickly and starts many yards behind the line. It’s a good “once or twice a game” kinda play, especially if the defense is selling out on the pass. As anyone who watched Kevin Gilbride call an offense will tell you, overuse can be infuriating.

How did the Draw Play come to be? It would appear the main theory is that it was used by Sid Luckman of the Chicago Bears to deal with the Packers Charles Goldenberg. Charles Goldenberg had the best nickname in football history. Buckets. They called him Buckets. There will never be a better nickname in football than Buckets Goldenberg. This was the kind of era when players didn’t have such set positions and Buckets played fullback, guard, and linebacker. If you’d like a wee bit of history on my man Buckets, here’s a good pdf.

You’ll see Goldenberg’s name always pop up as the credited originator of the draw play because he kept sacking Luckman and Luckman got tired of it and started handing off the ball instead. Frankly, to me, this seems like Sid Luckman is actually the creator of the Draw Play, and Goldenberg getting the credit is some typical Packers bullshit of making themselves more important. Goldenberg presented a problem, and Luckman was forced to create a solution. Luckman should be the one given more credit. Fuck off, Packers.

There is another potential origin to the Draw Play, but it struck me as a glorified piece of lore, a kind of fantasy version of a tale you’d tell your kid as a bedtime story about how a play was invented. I’ll just quote Wikipedia on this one:

The draw was also allegedly invented by the Cleveland Browns during their years in the All-America Football Conference.[7] A botched play, originally designed to be a pass play, caused quarterback Otto Graham to improvise a hand-off to fullback Marion Motley. A surprised Motley, who had been expecting to block on the play, instead ran for a big gain. Coach Paul Brown noted the success of the improvised play and began to work it in as a regular play, quickly creating four different versions of it.[8]

That story doesn’t sound quite real to me. Broken plays that end up effective in the end have been a staple of our glorious clownball game since the beginning so I don’t doubt something like this could and did happen, but the bit about Paul Brown taking note and working on it immediately feels to me like Browns history fans huffing their own farts, Packers style. Real life is rarely so poetic, and I find the tale of a QB annoyed by a defender and finding a way to solve that problem far more realistic. After all, there is precedent. The modern stance of the Left Tackle exists because Joe Gibbs was sick of watching his offense get obliterated by Lawrence Taylor and needed a solution.

Speaking of Lawrence Taylor and the Skins, I have a good idea for a particular moment with those two for a future history comic, as well as an idea for David Carr’s first days with the Texans and an idea about Randy Moss mooning the Packers. Since this is a new bastion of opportunity that will allow me to fill the void of summer with no real timing restrictions, I want to hear what you’d like to see!

What historical moments would you want to see a Draw Play of? Things you would have expected a comic about if it had happened the previous day. Anytime before 2012 is pretty much game to me, and a good mix of early early football to more modern stupidity would be best. I’m open to anything though, and I’m sure your suggestions will offer solid starting points.