NFL CHANGES THE GAME

By Alex Barrett
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As with most years, the NFL has decided to do their best this off-season to attempt to assure the safety of players in the league. They do this, of course, by implementing rule changes that butcher the game’s core competencies, and rarely ever make any sense.

This year, another Tom Brady rule has been put forth. Hooray! You may remember the original ‘tuck rule’ that was put in place the year after the Raiders were robbed in the AFC Championship game after a clear fumble by Brady. This rule is a little more involved. Following the season-ending injury to Toy-Boy Brady, the league has now made it illegal to hit a quarterback below the hip pads, and illegal to hit the quarterback if you are on the ground as well.

This rule, joined with a legit rule, not being able to strike above the shoulder pads, now makes the only place for rushers to make contact with the QB from the lower shoulders to the belly button.

Thus, after years of seasons, hundereds of games, and millions of fans who tune in to big hits and grimacing quarterbacks, the league has finally decided to use twohand touch on the field generals of the league.

I have a better idea; let’s give the quarterback a set of flags so the defenders don’t even have to risk touching the frail, breakable QB. It is sad that players like Steve McNair, who injured virtually every bone in his body was able to go out week after week and play, but the first time a flagship player like Tom Brady goes down, all of a sudden there’s a problem.

Poor Brady, who is still dating a supermodel, and who still managed to take pictures for endorsemets of clothing, cologne, and feminine hygiene products during his vacation away from the league.

This guy isn’t a football player, he is a pansy. It’s not like the first player in the backfield against the Patriots this year is going Steven Segal Tom’s knee and kick it in backwards to prove a point. Safties aren’t Chuck Norris roundhouse-kicking receivers coming across the middle. Football is a tough sport where contact is completely necessary. If you’re having problems with your QB staying healthy, maybe they should choose a new line of work, or hit the weight room to bulk up and prevent injuries.

Unfortunately, the No Fun League has struck again, making sure we have another diluted contribution on Sundays. No more “Jacked Up!” No more leveling hits to pollute ESPN’s Top 10 countdown. Players on the gridiron are going to get hurt, no matter how many adaptations to hits you make. Sooner or later, we will find ourselves on a path to abolising contact in sports altogether. No matter how many punishing blows you put on a player, there are still more injuries in other sports, such as basketball, where the players don’t even wear pads with the exception of the occasional face protector, or Horace Grant’s famous goggles.

My advice to the league: end this now; I understand you have to protect your investments and players, but the one thing that keeps you going are the fans. Once they fly for greener pastures, it will be hard to pay those players millions of dollars each year. People love football, not sort-of football. Maybe if the league saw this, they would think a little longer about making decisions as potentially hap-hazard as this one.