Ron Rivera is the gift that keeps on giving in the NFL.
“Riverboat Ron” has long been one of the most respected coaches in all of football, dating to his days as the Panthers’ head coach, where he gambled and attempted fourth-down conversions before it became mainstream across the league. His first season as head coach of the Washington Football Team has been one of, if not the toughest of his career as he has had to balance coaching while undergoing cancer treatments. But Rivera proved on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys that he’s still the same fun-loving coach that he was with Carolina.
On a second-and-5 at the Dallas 16 in the first half, Washington ran a “fumblerooski” play that resulted in a 6-yard run for J.D. McKissic. It’s a neat play at first glance, but upon further inspection many fans recognized it as “The Annexation of Puerto Rico,” the famous trick play from the 1994 film classic “Little Giants.”
Here’s a video of the original play, for reference. So maybe there were fewer theatrics in Washington’s version.
Rivera, who is half Puerto Rican on his father’s side, said after the game that the play call was indeed inspired by the famous “Little Giants” play and that he had seen the movie “100 times” with his kids, who love the film.
Rivera also said the team calls the play the “Bumerooski” after legendary football coach Bum Phillips, who invented the particular variation of the play.
This isn’t even the first time we’ve seen a Rivera-led team execute “The Annexation of Puerto Rico.” The Panthers ran it in 2011 against the Texans, with Richie Brockel running it in for a touchdown.
It’s plays like that one that make Rivera a treasure in the NFL. Bringing out an old backyard football trick on Thanksgiving is a great way to endear yourself to football fans across the country. And beating the Cowboys 41-16 doesn’t hurt, either.