Touch-up – Wednesday’s Wordapod

Wednesday’s Wordapod Created by Matthew J. Goldberg, author of Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words

Four days and counting down to Super Bowl XLVII, we’re nearing the climax of the NFL season.  This happy occasion (for some?) inspired today’s Wordapod.



Touch-up (n) – in football, (the opposite of a touchdown) when a player mistakenly runs the wrong way and scores points (technically two points for a safety) for the opposing team

Sample Scenario

I still remember the touch-up I scored in a middle school flag football game. I spun around to intercept a pass, and then streaked untouched to the end zone and spiked the ball. Little did I know that I had scored two points for the other team, and would be nicknamed “Goalpost Goldberg” for the next year or so.


So, Who Knew…?

There were two very famous misdirected runs in football history—one in the NFL by Minnesota Vikings great Jim Marshall, and one in college football by California’s Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels.

In 1964, Marshall scooped up a fumble, spun around and ran 66 yards to the wrong end zone, and threw the ball out of play, inadvertently scoring two points for the San Francisco 49’ers. The Vikings did recover to win the game 27-22. Marshall also recovered to have a storied career, as a 19-year member of the Vikings. He was a fixture on the defensive line of a great Vikings defense, (led by Hall of Famers Alan Page and Carl Eller) that was known as “The Purple People Eaters.”  Until his record was broken very recently by Brett Favre, Marshall had started in 270 straight NFL games.

The even more infamous touch-up (although, technically, it was not that) was committed by Riegels, a University of California Bears two-way lineman that would make All-America the following year. Playing in the 1929 Rose Bowl against Georgia Tech, Riegels recovered a fumble, and pivoted the wrong way, starting for what he thought would be 6 points for his team. He made it 65 yards, until a teammate caught up to him, and pointed him in the right direction. Unfortunately, three Georgia Tech players arrived and tackled him on his own 1-yard line. Rather than risk a safety on the next play, Cal decided to punt, but you guessed it—Tech blocked it and scored a safety for a 2-0 lead. Cal would end up scoring, and Riegels would even re-enter the game and block a punt himself, but Tech beat Cal to win the Rose Bowl by a score of 8-7.

Riegels, who went on to great success in and out of sports, was always known for this one blunder—and it was not even a touch-up!  Just a little #$@!-up.

PLEASE NOTE: As of now, this concludes my Wordapod columns for It has been a great pleasure to create and share these new words and phrases; I am not aware of other columns of this type. Thank you as always for reading it.

Please feel free to stay in touch for future developments, as I do intend to find new homes for my Wordapods, my Jewish-themed Top 10 Lists, my Gold Notes columns as well as my other signature column, Bagels and Jocks. Below, please find a couple of my points of contact, including email.

For more information about Matt’s new co-authored book, A Snowball’s Chance: Philly Fires Back Against the National Media, please visit this link.

Wordapods were created by Matthew J. (call him Matt) Goldberg in his book, Wordapodia, Volume One: An Encyclopedia of Real Fake Words.

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Filed Under: HumorWednesday Wordapod


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Matthew J. Goldberg About the Author: An author, speaker and custom writer from Cherry Hill, NJ, Matt loves to entertain people through his writing and public speaking. Laughs, Smiles and just enough Wisdom reach his audience through the magic of his written and spoken words. More about Matthew

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