Why does it seem more and more that the NFL competition committee wants to do everything in their power to take the word competition right out of football? Their latest: Place the ball on the 35-yard line instead of the 30 on kickoffs and increase the touchbacks five yards to the 25-yard line. The idea is to reduce the number of violent collisions that occur on the kickoff coverage. My first thought is that it is lame. Wasn't there a league once called the XFL – Xtreme Football League – where punt returners weren't even allowed to call for a fair catch?
What happened to the days of leather helmets and no facemasks?
Rugby players around the globe are currently laughing at the NFL players holding out for more money and more protection. I vote right now we change the name of the National Football League to the SFL – Sissy Football League.
I'm not saying that the league should go back to the days of leather helmets. Facts are facts – today's players are bigger, faster, and stronger than those who laced up in the early days of the NFL. But the way the league is moving more and more toward player safety is taking the sport out of this once gladiatorial event. Understandably some things do need to be accounted for like the concussion factor, but how many players have you seen concussed on a kickoff? That is mostly a quarterback issue. Quarterbacks these days are like batters to a pitcher in baseball -- since there is a certain strike zone when tackling them.
I understand the need for more safety, I do, but there is a certain point where you just have to scratch your head and laugh at the ridiculousness. In the pee-wee football league that I coach, we use the "no kicks" policy. A punt on fourth down is simply a 30-yard advancement of the ball and change of possession. A change of possession following a score is the opposite team's ball on the 20-yard line. Looks like that is where the NFL is heading with this one.
My honest opinion is the competition committee should take the "competition" tag away from their name like they are doing to the game we all love. We'll take the "National Football" part of the NFL acronym and convert it to "No Fun." And let's just remove kicking altogether except for field goals and extra points. That way we can trim the rosters down and the owners won't have to worry about high salary caps because players who were formerly considered special teams' aces won't have to be paid anymore.
You have to hand it to the league though, because they have the ways of the business world down to a science. Take, take, take from the customers and charge more, more, more for the service.
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