On Sunday in San Diego, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice turned in what could very easily be the play of the year in the NFL. With his team standing at the foot of what appeared to be an unscalable mountain – 4th down and 29 yards to go, trailing by three, with 1:59 remaining – Rice put the team on his back, catching a short pass from quarterback Joe Flacco and taking it all 29 yards for the first down.
On the play, Rice eluded nearly every member of the San Diego defense – who all wildly over-pursued – and lunged across the 34-yard line for the first down.
Watch the play over and again in all its glory, until your purple hearts are content, with this GIF (c/o The Big Lead):
While the play was “only” in a Week 12 regular season game, and not in the postseason, “4th-and-29? has the potential to become the sort of iconic play in Baltimore Ravens lore that “The Catch” is for San Francisco 49ers fans, or “The Fumble” is for Denver Broncos/Cleveland Browns fans.
What will we call it?
Rice himself has already given it a bit of a moniker, using the term “Hey diddle, diddle, Ray Rice up the middle” in his post-game press conference.
A couple things there: 1 – Rice has been using that term for years. Two years ago when Kris Jones and I were at the Super Bowl touring Radio Row with Ray, he was using it in interviews while discussing the AFC Divisional loss to Pittsburgh. And, 2 – a quick search on Wikipedia shows that the term has been used for running plays since the 1950?s, when it originated in…you guessed it: Pittsburgh.
So I’m not exactly a fan of that nickname.
What else could we call it, Ravens fans?
The dump-off? (for the Flacco-haters out there)
Whatever we call it, Ravens fans will never forget this play.
Excuse me while I go watch it 75 more times or so.