Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: Icing the kicker
In the sport of American football or Canadian football, the act of icing the kicker or freezing the kicker is a tactic employed by defending teams to disrupt the process of kicking a field goal just prior to the snap. Typically, either a player or a coach on the defending team will call time out just as the kicker is about to attempt a game-tying or game-winning field goal. This is intended to either stop the kick immediately as the kicker is mentally prepared, or allow for the kicker to kick immediately after the timeout so that the initial kick doesn’t count, in an attempt to mentally disrupt the kicker for the actual kick.
One variant of this tactic, attributed to Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, is to call time out from the sidelines just before the ball is snapped. This prevents the kicking team from realizing the kick will not count until after the play is over. However, this has the potential to backfire, as the kicker could miss the first attempt that does not count, or it could be blocked, but he could make the second attempt.
New York (NY) Times
Icing Kicker: New Tactic Has Drawn Double Take
By JUDY BATTISTA
Published: October 21, 2007
But Feely is not a fan of a new fad in which coaches are calling timeout from the sideline to freeze a kicker a split-second before the ball is snapped.
“I understand the strategy,” Feely said. “At the same time, there are a lot of plays that the N.F.L. has outlawed because they say it is deceptive in nature. I think this falls under the same category. It’s deceptive.”
It has also been somewhat successful, which undoubtedly accounts for its recent popularity.