The NFL Owners’ Meetings begin this week and among the things that will be discussed are rule changes. Why the league’s brain trust feels compelled to make material changes to a game that is wildly popular is in some ways unconscionable and in other ways simply arrogant.
But be that as it may, they’ll convene this week and discuss 13 different proposed changes to the game. Maybe they should spend their collective time discussing ways to improve the fan experience at the game such as NASA powered wifi, free access to games and highlights from around the league on demand from smartphones, and improved queuing into that stadium and rest rooms to name a few.
But that’s just me…maybe.
Anyway here are the FACTS presented as the proposed rule changes along with my OPINION on the proposed changes.
And by all means, we welcome yours…
FACT: Proposal No. 1 KICKOFFS ~ Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line for safety and historic consistency reasons.
OPINION: If the owners pass this, please stop wasting our time and just put the ball on the 20. Then ask Jacoby Jones for a refund. Fans who like the “consistent” excitement of a kick return, refer to the historical videos.
FACT: Proposal No. 2 REPLAY PERSONAL FOULS ~ Would expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties.
OPINION: Another way to slow down and over-officiate an already over-officiated game. Here’s an idea, how about the officials just call what they see, not what they think they’ve seen?
FACT: Proposal No. 3 PRESEASON OVERTIME ~ Would eliminate overtime periods in preseason games for player safety reasons.
OPINION: Agreed, oh and fan boredom reasons. But then again shouldn’t we consider if such a move is politically correct? Insomniacs might object.
FACT: Proposal No. 4 HEIGHTEN GOAL POSTS ~ Would extend the goal posts an additional five feet above the cross bar, making it easier for officials to determine whether kicks are good.
OPINION: Seems like a reasonable suggestion and I’m glad they weren’t that tall back in 2012 when Justin Tucker hit the walkoff against the Patriots. I do feel sorry for the guy who climbs those poles and puts the wind ribbon on top
FACT: Proposal No. 5 LONGER EXTRA POINTS ~ Would move the line of scrimmage for extra points to the defensive team’s 25-yard line, making it a 43-yard attempt. This is to make the extra point more competitive.
OPINION: If it ain’t broke… However, that said, it could increase the frequency of 2-point attempts and level the playing field for random numbers selected during Super Bowl block pools. What about the dropkick?
FACT: Proposal No. 6 BOUNDARY LINE CAMERAS: Would put stationary cameras on all boundary lines – the sideline, end line and end zone – to supplement the TV cameras.
OPINION: This proposal was suggested by the Patriots (true story) because more cameras means more opportunities for spying (possibly a true story).
FACT: Proposal No. 7 COACHES CHALLENGES ~ Would permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays.
OPINION: Can you challenge “malice in the heart”? On whole a good move. How many times have we seen officials being obviously wrong only to find out that it was not a reviewable call? It might curtail those famous M&T Bank Stadium chants.
FACT: Proposal No. 8 ROLL UP PROTECTION: Would add a penalty for “rolling up” on the side of a defender. Currently, a blocker cannot go low at the back of the legs of a defender. This would further extend that to include the side.
OPINION: Is two-hand touch that far away?
OPINION: No brainer but I’m glad I’m not in the hood business, as in “going under the hood.”
FACT: Proposal No. 10 REPLAY FUMBLE RECOVERIES ~ Would allow plays where the ball is in the field of play and there is a clear recovery to be reviewed and potentially overturned. Currently, when a ball is ruled dead, it is not reviewable.
OPINION: Well it’s about time!
FACT: Proposal No. 11 CLOCK STOPPAGE: Would eliminate the stoppage of the clock on a sack at any point of the game.
OPINION: If your QB gets knocked into never, never land I’m thinking the guy has earned a few seconds of our precious time to shake out the cobwebs. Seriously, I can’t ever recall screaming bowling alley words at the TV because the officials stop the clock for Ben Roethlisberger when Haloti Ngata turned his nose into an elbow noodle.
FACT: Proposal No. 12 PASS INTERFERENCE MODIFICATION ~ Would allow for pass interference to be called even if the foul occurs within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage.
OPINION: This one is completely ridiculous. If anything they should penalize less for pass interference. Ticky-tack penalties 40-yards downfield and flagged as a spot foul, should simply be a 10-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Blatant P.I.’s only should be spot fouls.
FACT: Proposal No. 13 PENALTY ENFORCEMENT ~ Would make all defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage enforced from the previous spot rather than the end of the run or the spot of the foul.
OPINION: Don’t they have something better to talk about than this? Like when a head coach intentionally impedes the progress of a kick returner on his way to the end zone?