End Zone Camouflage
The play: This bit of chicanery requires an end zone color scheme that matches the team’s uniform. The trick is to have a player lie down in the end zone on a kickoff, concealing his presence from the kicking team. After another player receives the kick and draws the defense, the camouflaged player springs up on the opposite side of the gridiron, accepts a cross-field lateral and charges forward into open territory.
First time: The history on this one is as murky as gray-clad player in a gray end zone, but we do know that a pro team attempted the camouflage return play in 2012 and appeared to succeed spectacularly, busting off a 93-yard TD return—only to have the six points taken off the board because the lateral was actually a forward pass. On Oct 4, 2014, a college team from Texas reeled off a 47-yard return with the play, hiding a purple-uniformed runner in its purple end zone.
Best time: The camouflage return is easily the cheekiest trick play of all, so pretty much any time it works is an occasion to salute. There was the time, on Nov 12, 2016, that a Midwest college team matched its blue unis with its blue end zone and unspooled a 35-yard return. But the choice here is that 2014 Texas team: they executed it like a special forces operation, they gained 47 yards, and best of all, they camouflaged their purple player in the purple hole of the white ‘O’ in their end zone lettering.