This Sunday in Phoenix the NFL Annual Meeting will commence and among the things on the table for discussion are proposed rule changes.
In fact there are 23 rules changes that have been suggested, 18 of which have come from the teams.
Some have merit and represent nothing more than minor tweaks. One such change would require head coaches to call a timeout if they want to challenge a ruling on the field instead of throwing the red flag. If they win the challenge, they’ll get their timeout back.
On the other end of the spectrum is an idea coming from the Indianapolis Colts that makes me wonder if Jim Irsay is still abusing substances. In the Colts proposal, teams that are successful during a two-point conversion attempt will get a chance to add a third point with a 50-yard kick.
Isn’t the game just fine the way it is?
Why do the owners and their appointed competition committee feel compelled to update the game the way EA Sports updates Madden?
Each season when new rules are introduced NFL officials have to go into study mode to get acquainted with the new rules. Then they adjust to the new rules during preseason games. By the time the fake games are over and the real ones roll in the officiating crews still haven’t adjusted and that leads to bad calls early in the season that could decide games.
A win in September is just as valuable as a win in December.
It’s been said that when players have to think it slows them down and consequently they aren’t as effective on the field. That’s why rookies often struggle early on when confronted by the warp speed of live games.
Officials experience a similar phenomenon – the learning curve. Might they be better at their craft if they had time to perfect the changes from years past?
At the end of the day, do the tweaks really help the game or just slow it down?
Might the league meetings be better spent on important issues such as stricter policies for substance abuse and domestic violence, advancing the science of the prevention of head trauma or improving the fan experience at stadiums?
Instead they’ll waste time on Irsay’s suggested video game-like updates.
By the way, whatever happened to Deflate Gate?