Quarterbacks and coaches often like to claim that what they yell for pre-snap audibles mean nothing.
Perhaps the most famous audible is retired NFL legend Peyton Manning’s “Omaha.”
“Omaha was just an indicator word,” Manning explained in 2017, per CBS Sports. “It was a trigger word that meant we had changed the play, there was low time on the clock and the ball needed to be snapped right now to kind of let my offensive lineman know that ‘Hey, we’d gone to Plan B, there’s low time on the clock.’ It’s a rhythmic three-syllable word, ‘O-ma-ha, set hut.'”
So there you go. That audible was simply chosen for its succinctness and tri-syllabic function. Nothing more.
Only, based on what I heard from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and their quarterback, I’m not buying it.
Early in the second half with the Patriots clinging to a mere three-point lead, the Patriots were backed up on their own 8-yard line.
Brady, ever the veteran who has seen everything a team can throw at him, didn’t like the play call for the formation that the Los Angeles Rams were showing.
“Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!” Brady could be heard yelling. He was changing the call.
“Of course Reagan means run to the RIGHT”
— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD) February 4, 2019
While we might never know what the play originally was, what the play became was a rushing attempt for Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel.
Now, based on Manning’s comments, maybe the Patriots just happened to choose “Reagan” for its cadence. Or, as the Miami Herald pointed out, maybe they chose “Reagan” because it starts with an “R” and the play was changed to a running play to the right side.
But there are a lot of factors to suggest that Brady may have, in fact, called the most pro-conservative play in recent memory.
Second, it simply couldn’t have been mere happenstance that “Reagan” turned the play into a run to the right side. Reagan, as both a conservative and a Republican, is typically associated with right-leaning ideologies.
Third, the Patriots have often been known to thumb their noses at decorum and have no problem running a score up or rubbing their opponents’ faces in the dirt to send a message. It would not be a stretch at all to consider “Reagan” an overtly intentional play call given how much flak Brady, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and team owner Robert Kraft have gotten from the left about their association and friendship with Trump.
The Patriots played a defensive gem of a game and beat the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII. It is the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history.
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