This one pains me to write.
As much as I'd love to win $3,000, as was the case for DraftKings daily fantasy player robocles on Monday night, I think I'd prefer not to win any money at all given the circumstances of robocles's winnings. You can view it as a $3,000 win for one lucky football fan. Or you can view it as a $997,000 loss for one incredibly unfortunate football fan.
Hopefully robocles didn't rush to make any big purchases.
The play in question appears to be one which occurred late in the fourth quarter, when Rams quarterback Jared Goff was pursued by Bears linebacker James Vaughters and was eventually downed by Vaughters and/or a diving Akiem Hicks before he had reached the line of scrimmage. Apparently, however, a further review revealed that it was not a sack, as the ESPN box score reads the following:
(2:58 - 4th) J. Goff left end to CHI 41 for -3 yards (A. Hicks).
It's certainly worth watching over and over and over again, as I'm sure robocles is doing, agonizing over whether or not his prize was rightfully taken away. According to the NFL's Guide for Statisticians, a sack is defined as follows:
When the player making an apparent attempt to pass is tackled or downed at or behind the statistical line of scrimmage, credit a sack to the defensive player who tackled or downed the potential passer. If a defender pushes an offensive player into the potential passer, knocking him down and ending the play, or the contact results in a fumble, credit a sack to the appropriate defensive player.
I can certainly see the reasoning behind anyone wanting to call this one a sack after watching the replay, but the result is what it is: No sack. No point for the Chicago Bears defensive unit on DraftKings. Some fractional points lost on Goff's negative run. No million dollar victory for one poor — yet still $3,000 richer — fantasy football player.
Immediately, comparisons to Michael Strahan's sack on Brett Favre for the single-season sack record came to the surface on Twitter.
It'll be interesting to see if DraftKings or the NFL reach out to robocles in any way to talk about this, or if it's just water under the bridge at this point. On the bright side (I guess), the five players in the contest who got a boost after the point was taken away from robocles' score are likely ecstatic.