For a moment, Michael Dickson was back in Australian Rules Football.
The Seahawks’ punter had just seen his kick blocked by Rams’ linebacker Jamir Jones on “Thursday Night Football.” Instead of letting the ball roll dead at Seattle’s own 11-yard line, he ran over, scooped up the ball, ran up nine yards down the left sideline and punted the ball again from the 20. This one traveled 68 yards.
Viewers thought it was a penalty. The FOX broadcast team thought it was a penalty. Even Dickson thought it was a penalty.
“I was like, ‘I’m just going to re-kick it, and then if they make me re-kick it (by penalty), that’s better than getting a block,” Dickson told The News Tribune. “And then I just kind of cut back and was ready to get, like, smoked. But no one was around, so I got the kick off pretty clean.”
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Of course, as it turned out, it was not a penalty and the Rams had to take the ball from their own 11-yard line because Dickson still had not crossed the line of scrimmage.
In #LARvsSEA, the punt was blocked and recovered by the kicking team. The punter kicks the ball again from behind the line of scrimmage. This is a legal kick and the result of the play was the ball was ruled down at the 11 yard line. pic.twitter.com/saAYrCKlzp
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) October 8, 2021
Dickson, a Sydney, Australia, native told The News Tribune that he hadn’t attempted a double kick since he was playing football in Australia. He played the sport in Australia until he was 18, when he was offered a scholarship to play American football at the University of Texas, The News Tribune reported.
“Felt good to get back. Been missing Aussie Rules, so felt good doing that again,” he told The News Tribune.
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When the ball was blocked, Dickson had to run over to his left and scoop it up with one hand in order to get moving down the field with it. He told The News Tribune the only way he’d be able to get the ball off was to grab it with one hand.
“I was like, ‘It’s already a bad situation. Might as well do what I’ve always done in that sport and just try to pick it up like I do, and see what I could do with it,'” Dickson told The News Tribune.
After the flag was thrown, Dickson thought for sure he was going to have to re-kick it, so he said after the play he was just trying to stay calm and prepare to kick the ball away again.
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“I didn’t know the rules about double-kicking,” Dickson said, per The News Tribune. “I just had always thought if it even gets blocked behind the line of scrimmage and I can’t advance it, I was going to do some Aussie Rules stuff and try to hit it, punt it down the field and do whatever I can.
“That was always in the back of my mind. And then I had the opportunity. And I just did it.”