In the 2008 Superbowl, David Tyree caught a ball on his helmet, gaining 32 yards, and setting the Giants up for their game winning touchdown. It was the Hail Mary pass to end all Hail Mary passes, it was named the Play of the Decade, and it meant the Giants won the Superbowl over the Patriots.
This is all to say that sometimes, Hail Mary passes are very successful. That's why people keep throwing them. But for every Helmet Catch, there are dozens, nay, hundreds, of failed Hail Mary tosses. The Stop Trump movement within the Republican party, is one such failure.
This week on the convention floor, Republican delegates made their final push to prevent Donald Trump from being their party's nominee. If it seems like this is a little late in the game for such theatrics, you're right. Delegates were trying to force the Rules Committee of the Republican National Committee to allow delegates to become "unbound" or free to vote for whichever candidate they wanted to vote for.
In order to unbind delegates, the Rules Committee has to step in and change the procedure of the Convention. So when the Rules Committee brought the rules to the floor for a voice vote (people saying yes or no, without any counting), the rules did not include anything about unbinding delegates. This, of course, upset many #NeverTrump Republicans who then tried to force a roll call vote on the rules.
A roll call vote means that states would be called on individually to express their support or opposition to the current rules. Normally, the person managing the floor will ask for ayes and nays, and without fail say "in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it." Which is a phrase I would love to use for situations in my own life, like when I'm arguing with my friends about which movie to see.
#NeverTrump delegates thought they had enough states to force a roll call vote, but no one was operating under the delusion that they had enough states to actually change the rules and unbind the delegates. Mostly because they had already tried to unbind delegates in an early meeting of Rules Committee, and lost 87-12. To bring an amendment to the floor of the convention, you need 28 supporters, so this was a lost cause from the start. But evidently some Republicans are also fans of David Tyree, and went for the Hail Mary Pass on the floor.
It didn't work. In fact it failed spectacularly. Turns out the #NeverTrump delegates didn't' even have enough support for a roll call vote. There was behind the scenes negotiating, where members of the senior members of the RNC and people working on the Trump campaign tried to convince states to not vote for a roll call. In the end, when a delegate from Utah asked for a roll call vote, it was denied, since three of the original nine delegations didn't have support within their own delegation. Without a majority support of delegates in nine states, no roll call vote.
In protest, the Colorado and Iowa delegations walked off the floor. There was booing, yelling, chanting, and for a moment the delegates of the RNC looked more like bummed out Patriots fans after David Tyree's Helmet Catch, and less like powerful members of the Republican Party.
With the lack of a roll call vote, there was nothing standing in the way of Trump becoming the nominee, something the rest of us accepted months ago. Honestly, the delegates should have known this going in. There's only a Helmet Catch once in a generation, and unfortunately it's already been done by David Tyree.