The Sack Dance may be the most demeaning of all on-field celebrations. It sends a very clear message to the opponent’s offensive line, "I beat you on that play," though that may not be an accurate assessment of the entire situation. Consider this, the average NFL game has anywhere from 120-140 plays. That means that each team’s defense plays an average of 60-70 snaps. If an offensive line (as a whole) gives up 5 sacks out of those 60-70 snaps, they had a bad day. Of course, we have to account for teams running the ball too, so let’s narrow the numbers down even more.
The average quarterback throws the ball anywhere from 30-40 times a game, sometimes more. For the sake of argument, let’s say teams throw the ball an average of 35 times a game. That makes 35 opportunities for a sack. By all accounts, if a defensive lineman manages 2 sacks on any single offensive lineman out of 35 opportunities, he had a great day. So why the sack celebration? That would mean that same offensive lineman did his job 33 out of 35 times and yet the media and announcers portray him as a poor player or as having an off game. This is why offensive lineman are clearly the unsung heroes of today’s NFL.
There are very few statistics kept for offensive lineman. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is actually a huge problem and one that many people are attempting to remedy. When evaluating players, the first place most people look is at his statistics. Without stats, offensive lineman become one of the most difficult position groups to evaluate either as draft picks or for Pro Bowl and All Pro Honors. The only statistics we currently keep track of for offensive lineman are sacks allowed and (more importantly in this case) Pancakes.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a "Pancake Block" occurs when an offensive player (usually a lineman, fullback, or tight end) mauls a defensive player taking him to the ground and ending up on top of him. When this happens, the offensive player ends up "stacked" on top of the defensive player like a pancake. A "Pancake Block" is equally as rare a feat for an offensive lineman as a sack is for a defensive player, yet we never see offensive lineman doing Pancake Dances. This is a travesty for the unnamed heroes of the run game and the protectors of the sport’s most important position.
Any Seahawk fan can remember a time not too long ago when inconsistencies on the offensive line plagued their team; it was hard to watch. That was the pre-Tom Cable Era though, and it made fans appreciate the men in the trenches a bit more than the average fan. Seattle has since converted to a team built around its run game and its offensive line. With this in mind we must ask, where is the Pancake Block Dance? The Seahawks have fast become a trend setting team in the NFL (just look at the size of corners across the league now) so, why not have Seattle be the home of the Pancake Dance?
The question for fans is this, if you had to pick one lineman from Seattle that you would like to see do a Pancake Dance, who would it be? If enough people chime in, we will attempt to petition that player to do his version of a Pancake Dance at first opportunity and perhaps bring a bit more swagger to what has already become one of the most talented offensive line groups in all of football. Choices of Seattle offensive lineman include (but are not limited to): Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, John Moffitt, or Breno Giacomini. Please leave your answer in the comment section of this article, or e-mail to email@example.com or answer on Twitter @J_M_Patterson