An act of genius by Australian punter Michael Dickson has sent social media into a frenzy, and left NFL officials scrambling for the rulebooks.
The 25-year old Sydneysider turned Seattle Seahawk, who was a junior prodigy playing AFL before heading stateside, showed that it’s not just his kicking game that has the potential to raise eyebrows.
After an initial punt was blocked by LA Rams linebacker Jamir Jones, the Aussie showed lightning reflexes to sprint for the ball, executing a skilful one-handed pick-up at full pace; before unleashing a second kick 68 yards further afield.
NFL Twitter then proceeded to lose their minds. Among the list of fans gushing over the play was former linebacker turned analyst Emmanuel Acho.
MICHAEL DICKSON WITH THE FREAK ATHLETICISM #ForTheBrand
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 8, 2021
I don't know what just happened but Michael Dickson is a legend for pulling this off. https://t.co/TI9VI9KQW1
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 8, 2021
*whispers*: that scoop by Michael Dickson was so smooth
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 8, 2021
We can not ignore this scoop by Michael Dickson…. that was so dang smooth. He popped the ball up with one hand.
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) October 8, 2021
Refs: You can't punt twice on one play.
Michael Dickson: pic.twitter.com/pBaiiygOcQ
— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoTWW) October 8, 2021
That was some pure Australian Football shit from Michael Dickson and I love it.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) October 8, 2021
Michael Dickson is a wizard
— Cigar Thoughts ???? (@CigarThoughts) October 8, 2021
Michael Dickson is the GOAT. My dude kept his cool, scooped up the ball with 1 hand and BOOTED it 68 yards!
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) October 8, 2021
The Sydney Swans, where Dickson was a member of their Academy before switching sports, were quick to point out where he’d picked up the trick.
Hmmm we have seen this before ????
— Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) October 8, 2021
While most of the attention was devoted to Dickson’s outstanding pick-up – a relatively common move in the AFL – the officials’ focus soon turned to whether Dickson’s double punt was actually legal. This led to a lengthy delay as everyone tried to work out what was going on, and what to do next.
Initially, the Fox Sports commentators believed the eye-popping play was illegal, with rules analyst Mike Pereira claiming that a second kick of the ball in the same play was against the rules.
However, the referee would eventually deem the play legal, with American sports reporter Andrew Siciliano finding the relevant rule.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) October 8, 2021
Dickson is far from a one-trick pony, either; with the Seahawks handing him a four-year contract extension worth $19 million AUD earlier this year.
Unfortunately for him, though, the moment of magic wasn’t enough to inspire the Seahawks, going down 26-17.