- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – Before Tony Romo bobbled the snap that negated a potential game-winning field goal attempt by Martin Gramatica in the 2006 playoffs, L.P. Ladouceur was the last person to touch the football.
Much has been made about the shiny K ball that was inserted into the game before the kick, and it has become something of a conspiracy theory that Ladouceur doesn’t necessarily shoot down.
“Looking back, it was obvious they switched the ball,” Ladouceur said. “Back then, (teams) did that at away games. I think they did the same thing in Buffalo the year after. They had some really shiny footballs. After they did the K ball rule, you weren’t allowed to brush them as much. Now you’re able to brush them a lot better. I think they allowed five minutes back then, and they never got to ball No. 3 or 4. Now they can. It was shiny. At the same time, we’re professionals and we’re supposed to put the ball down, snap it right and do all that stuff.”
Ladouceur said the weather that night -- a little cold and damp -- could have contributed to the slippery ball as well. At the time, he was unaware what happened after the snap.
“I remember going back to the sideline asking what happened and he [a teammate] was like, ‘He dropped it.’ Was the snap all right? ‘Yeah, he just dropped it,’” Ladouceur said. “I looked at the big screen and that was so close to the first down. The ball was on the 1-yard line and then they had a challenge upstairs. I remember it being a long process, and I think that’s how that ball got put in. Something must have happened to get another ball in. But a ball is a ball and you’re supposed to get it done anyways.”