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The NFL is Amazing But We Think These Changes Will Make it Even Better

January 5, 2014
The NFL is king right now and after an amazing year, many will say why change anything? While this year did feature some “instant classic” moments and the game is more popular than ever, to me, there are still some aspects that need to be improved. My fear is that the NFL because of its popularity will refuse to look at some glaring weaknesses that fans are beginning to groan about. If I was on the NFL Rules Committee, here’s what I would propose.
1) Move NFL Replay to a centralized location-Many times, a call can change the outcome yet NFL referees still go over to the sideline and put a drape over their head like they are checking out a peep show. I’m still waiting for a head official to reach into his pocket to grab another quarter. While they may be the 4th most popular national sport, the NHL has nailed replay review. All replays are looked at from one centralized location with a chief replay official on hand to oversee and help with the decision. Nobody ever disputes a goal in hockey. They get it right every time. We also know as fans that all views are being looked at and handled properly. Wouldn’t you also like to have it done in a climate controlled environment? It’s 12-15 degrees out, your teeth are chattering. Or how about trying to watch a replay as the rain pours down on you? Doesn’t human nature creep in at some point to figure out the call as quickly as possible?  It works in hockey and it can work in the NFL. The fall back option is to send it up into an officials room in the press box. Anything is better than the archaic method currently.
2) Limit pass interference to 15 yards– Sure, we all cheer when the call goes our way and the ball advances 50 yards but let’s be honest, that’s too costly. There is always going to be contact and the rule changes over the years have been one sided favoring the receivers. You are on an island as a defensive back and teams are purposely underthrowing routs at times to try to draw a call. Don’t you also agree with me that it gets old when the fans and the players are yelling for interference on every pass play? Let’s make it a 15 yard call or half the distance to the goal line if it’s less than 15 yards just like how college football does it. That way the offense has to earn it.
3) You can challenge anything-I think we are all sick of hearing that a play “can’t be challenged”. I think the fans in Pittsburgh like this idea since a “no call” cost them a possible trip to the playoffs. How about these hits to a defenseless receiver that look vicious but at second glance the defensive player was leading with their shoulder which is legal. I don’t blame the officials for throwing the flag. The game has become too fast to judge if the player is leading with their head or their shoulder. How many times do you hear announcers say, “I didn’t see anything there”. Well, let’s do something about it! Keep the same number of challenges per game so it won’t slow the game down. I’d rather a game lasted an extra few minutes than have to wonder, “what could have been”?
4) One helmet all season rule– I’m not entirely against this if it improves safety but will someone please tell the NCAA of the health risks? I’m talking to you, Oregon, Arizona State or every college team that was in a bowl this year. My other question on this is what happens if a player gets waived and joins another team? Isn’t that technically a new helmet he’s wearing? So you are in effect saying that the player who joins the new team is more at risk?
5) Come out with a clear rule on what a catch is– So when can you exactly put the ball on the ground? Is there a time limit? How does one determine when the ball is in complete possession? Dez Bryant seemed to have caught a ball against the Giants this year. Head coach Jason Garrett was so confused that he called a timeout hoping that it would be reviewed. The play was never reviewed. How about this infamous Calvin Johnson no catch in the end zone that would have given Detroit a road victory in Chicago?
6) Make officials full time– You run a business where the word “billions” is mentioned and some of your most valuable employees that decide your business are part time? That’s how it works right?  Of course it doesn’t. It’s ludicrous to think that NFL officials have to supplement their income with weekday jobs. Why is this even a discussion?
7) Officials need to be accountable– This year, a questionable pass interference no call in the end zone gave the Carolina Panthers a win over the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. A flag was thrown and then picked up with no explanation and the game ended. The NFL admitted that this was a mistake and told the refs that an explanation is necessary. If safety is a concern, I have no problem with the referees standing in front of the press after the game but to run off the field with no explanation seems ridiculous. If you don’t want the officials facing the press than allow questions to be submitted. The fans and the teams deserve an explanation.
8) Replace the 4th preseason game for a regular season game– Season ticket holders aren’t even attending if it’s a home game. I know that money needs to be worked out between the owners and the NFLPA but just think how many playoff scenarios we had this year. Can you imagine what it would be like if another week of the regular season was added?
I appreciate you letting me get these changes off of my chest. I also appreciate you reading all of our blogs. We offer some really cool football t-shirts including the Nashville Bootleggers and the Cocksville Blockers which is our best seller. You can get both of these t-shirts along with a nice discount and free shipping by joining our t-shirt of the month club. Give yourself a great gift to start the year with some Awesome Sports Logos. Thanks for reading and enjoy the playoffs!
Gavin Spittle
Founder, Logo Lover, T-shirt Wearer
Awesome Sports Logos
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