NFL Rule Change Idea - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-28-2017   #1
 
Aurora, Colorado
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NFL Rule Change Idea

I realize that football's probably not the most popular off-season entertainment for Buzzards. Nonetheless, I'm sure there are a few of us who still enjoy it.

For quite a few years now, I've had a rule idea in mind that I think would prevent the worst/most unnecessary injuries. The idea is this: If a player is injured through an illegal act, the player committing the illegal act will not return to play until the injured player does.

So, break a guy's leg with a horse-collar tackle and he misses the rest of the season, so do you. End his career, yours is over, too. I think players would think twice about the most dangerous hits if there existed the possibility that they might end their own career.

Injuries resulting from legal tackles, hits, etc, are not what I'm talking about here. Sometimes players get hurt, that's football- what' not football is T-ing off on a sliding QB (Alonso vs Flacco), eye-poking (Talib), etc.

What do you all think?

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Old 10-28-2017   #2
 
Florence, Colorado
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Mixed reaction. From a long time avid college and pro football fan. So many penalties are illegal hits because of a tenth of a second difference, or a wrong call. The penalty that started the fight in the chiefs/Raiders tilt, where Lynch earned his one game vacation, in myopinion and some of the announcers too, was legal. Yet it was flagged. You're asking some of the fastest, biggest athletes on the playing field to stop if it's. 01 second after a whistle. Something needs to be done on the most egregious, but a portion of the late hits, and like calls just don't merit that type of consequences.
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Old 10-29-2017   #3
 
cedar city, Utah
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The game is definitely changing. I am only a novice fan and I oscillate between interest and disgust at the inherent health risks of the sport.

I think a similar rule but nuanced per formerflatlander's concern is possible but difficult to create and objectively enforce. The NFL definitely needs to adapt to the scale of injuries its players experience.

That said, I think any change in NFL rules needs to be accompanied by changes in culture at the high school and college level. The NFL is definitely more powerful and violent in its hits but teaching a different approach (restraint?) at the lower levels will need to be part of the equation. I still cringe when I hear the sound of a big hit at the college level and the medical team goes out on the field. You can feel it in your bones from 100 feet away. There is plenty of evidence that the type of injuries high school and college football players are already experiencing at that age and level has lifelong implications. And at those ages players still don't have the brain development (I think its called executive function) to judge the risks inherent to the sport they have already spent a decade invested in.

Tough situation with wide ranging implications. I really have a hard time justifying being a fan anymore given the injuries. A handful of players ultimately end up making enough money to justify the injuries while the vast majority deal with some form of lifelong injury while never been good enough to become professional.
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Old 10-29-2017   #4
 
Aurora, Colorado
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Yeah, I guess it's not quite as clearcut as I'd been thinking. Another couple scenarios that make my rule unmanageable:

1. Player goes out in week 12 due to illegal injury, is out the rest of the season, and then retires, and never comes back. Due to injury, or just old??

2. 3rd or 4th stringer is injured illegally by star player, then coaches sit him the rest of the season "due to injury" in order to keep the star defender out for the season.

I could think of others.

I guess I just look at the NHL and how far they've come in the last decade. The Dept. of Player Safety has been really active, even creating videos of what is a clean hit, and what's not. It seems much more transparent than the NFL. I feel like the NFL you get these ambiguous definitions of what's an illegal vs a legal hit, and it kind of comes down to how the league office feels on a given day, or how important a player is to the league (read: Brady).
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Old 10-30-2017   #5
 
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Hi,

I remind myself that often a player launches himself irreversibly just as the opposing player changes direction or gets hit by another player -- making what would otherwise be a decent hit into something potentially harmful and/or warrantying a penalty.

But even if nothing changes in this regard, the long term impact of CTE is sure going to be a factor in the game going forward.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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Old 10-30-2017   #6
 
Aurora, Colorado
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I hear ya, Rich. At the same time, these guys are professionals, specialists, technicians- the best of the best. In my opinion they need to play in control. The whole, "speed of the game" thing to me isn't super convincing.

Yes, there are occasions where they physically can't change their trajectory, but I still think that in the vast majority of cases course changes can be made to lessen a hit.

I'll bring NHL rules into this again:
-Leaving your skates to deliver a hit is a penalty- Charging. Maybe NFL players ought not be launching themselves like 250lb missiles.

-Secondly, in the NHL if a player materially changes his position immediately before he is hit to cause his head to become the target, the hitting player isn't penalized.

Just last night there was a penalty to (I think) Seth Davis when Marvin Jones dropped his head and body position to bring his head into the target zone of Davis' head. I think the offensive player bears some responsibility for getting hit in the head if they are dropping their head into hits. Maybe the penalty could have gone to the offense for that??

Anyway, I think the NFL could take a lot out of the NHL's playbook on the player safety thing to improve NFL rules and policy.
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Old 10-31-2017   #7
 
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How about limiting the players to wears turf shoes. I think the lack of cleats would reduce a bunch of injuries. Can't get the exhilaration and your foot wont get planed. The problem with benching for dirty hits is, the NFL would run out of defensive players. We would be watching JV football all the time. We want our stars playing or we don't watch.
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Old 10-31-2017   #8
 
cedar city, Utah
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I think players have adapted to new rules throughout the history of the NFL. Yeah, there would be some serious benching for a short while. But the pressure of income, viewership, merchandise would set the teams, league straight pretty fast.

But it does bring up the important fact of managing fan expectations. I am not sure that viewers are ready to give up the brutality of the sport yet. I know I enjoyed, and many other fans I knew enjoyed, the big hits of hockey when I use to buy cheap seats. The NFL has a long history of amplifying the intensity of such defensive play and the fans have eaten it up. Its changing but slowly. The brain injury issue is likely going to be the biggest catalyst but the league is still working hard not to fully embrace that reality. In the end though fans will have to adapt to less brutal type of play as much as players will.
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Old 11-03-2017   #9
LSB
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they know the risk they're making millions
fuck em
and fuck the owners too
and while I'm at it fuck the fans too for feeding the pig
PS I love the game
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Old 11-07-2017   #10
 
Denver, Colorado
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The game will slowly lose popularity over time as parents discourage kids from playing tackle football for fear of concussions,and rules to increase safety,pardon the expression, “pussify the game”. Right or wrong people like the violence of the game.It could be argued that sports is a form of ritualized controlled pseudo warfare.No team game represents this more than American football.Supposedly,basketball and soccer will surpass football in popularity by mid century.Ironically.girl’s soccer is one the sports most prone to concussions and neck injuries (due to headers and weaker neck muscles).Anyway ,think of gladiator’s part in the circus ,as in bread and circus’.

I think the rule originally proposed here is a little overboard.(unless you could conclusively show intent to injure )...OP himself gave some good reasons or hypothetical problems that could arise.I heard one proposal for situations like the hit on Flacco:the QB can signal that he is going to slide before he does ( think fair catch on punt),otherwise the defender has to be prepared to lay QB out until he is positive he is sliding.Flacco kind of tried to squeeze a little extra out of the run before he slid and got waylaid.Also the DB had to protect himself from getting trampled by the much bigger Flacco.The best way to do that and his job was to square up and deliver the blow.
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