Around a week ago I talked about rule changes Roger Goodell has proposed in the past, and why I don’t think any of them are actually good for the NFL. If you haven’t already read that, you should. The post can be found here.
This is the second part of that original post, and now I will be sharing some of my ideas for rule changes that would improve the NFL. These are my personal opinions, and many of these probably won’t happen, at least not immediately, but I still see them as beneficial nonetheless. Here are five changes the NFL should make.
First off is something that’s just seemed obvious to me for years. The NFL has a big problem with spotting the football. In a game where the location oft the ball needs to be so precise, why are the refs allowed to eyeball where the football is from yards away? What about plays such as quarterback sneaks where there is a pile of players and the ball is nowhere to be seen? How on Earth can the refs be so sure that someone isn’t moving the ball a few feet in either direction under the pile? The NFL needs to have a way to check exactly where the ball is on plays where it isn’t obvious.
Another think that irks me is when your team converts a long third down pass or scores a touchdown near the sidelines, only to have it be ruled an incomplete pass due to some sketchy ruling that the player didn’t “maintain possession.” Can somebody please tell me what this means? You must have complete control of the ball even when touching the ground for a pass to be complete. Seriously? Is total control of the ball and a knee down not good enough? There are too many instances where this rule ends up disallowing something common sense calls a catch. This rule needs revising. When you touch a knee or a forearm to the ground with the ball, that’s a catch. Period.
This next one won’t really affect the game in anyways, but still I find it important. Bring back celebrations! Why can’t a player spike the ball? Why can’t Jimmy Graham dunk the ball through the uprights? Last time I checked the NFL stood for National Football League, not the No Fun League. Some people call it unsportsmanlike, but that really isn’t the case. When you score, you celebrate. This is like banning all goal celebrations in soccer. As long as no offensive gestures are being made, celebrate to your heart’s content. Just not for too long, that’s excessive celebration, and a fifteen-yard penalty. Thanks, No Fun League.
That brings us to challenges. There is no good reason for giving a team a limited amount of challenges. So what if a team loses a challenge. That doesn’t mean they can’t have anymore. If it looks like a ref made a wrong call, a team should be able to challenge. Here’s how this works. A ref makes a questionable call. A coach then motions to the ref, and briefly explains his case. Then the ref contacts an extra group of three or four officials not on the field who have access to replays from every angle. By the time they are contacted they should have already seen a few replays, so a call is quickly made. This takes about a minute and the right call is made.
Overtime rules are in need of some changing as well. Previously, the first score won the game. Now, a touchdown wins the game, but if a team scores a field goal on their first possession, the opposing team gets a chance to score. A touchdown by them wins the game, a field goal sends the game to sudden death, or next score wins. This is too complicated and doesn’t make sense. I believe each team should get a possession no matter what. I suggest two potential easier solutions. The first solution is kicking the ball off to one team, and giving each team one possession to score. Whoever scores more points on one drive wins, and if it somehow remains tied after two drives, eliminate the ability to punt. The second option won’t happen, but I believe it still makes more sense. Just play a 5th quarter. If you want, make it only 8 or 10 minutes, but just play OT. If it’s tied at the end of that, go to sudden death.
Who knows if and when any of these rules are actually accepted. All I know is that they should be.
Thanks as always,