Perhaps the outrage over Jets special teams coordinator Sal Alosi's tripping of Dolphins player Nolan Carroll last week was premature: it seems nearly everyone in the NFL is doing it or has done it.â†µ
FOX's Jay Glazer has the closest thing to a smoking gun on the newly discovered epidemic of sideline wall-building. He found video of the Panthers' Tyler Brayton tripping Falcons gunner Chris Owens last week, and FOX showed the video on its pregame show. In the video, Brayton steps up during the punt and clotheslines Owens; it's more flagrant than Alosi's trip, and likely to get a fine. (It's also not the first bit of foul play from Brayton, who kneed Jerramy Stevens in the groin in 2006.)
Glazer also explained that many teams have coordinated sideline tactics — he mentioned that one team named its play Pink Floyd, a nod to the band's "The Wall" — and that teams will deliberately try to obstruct gunners who veer off the field of play on a punt.â†µ
The practice is undeniably unsporting, to be sure, but Glazer also notes that it's legal. Don't count on it being legal for long.