Though it has existed since 1999, the "Tuck Rule" is known in many circles as the "Tom Brady" rule.
On a snowy January afternoon in 2002, the Oakland Raiders' playoffs run ended because of that very rule. Since that Sunday, dozens of quarterbacks have been saved from turnovers they have earned because (sigh) their arms were moving forward in a passing motion.
The game has changed.
Throughout sports there have been rules that have been identified with controversial plays or players. Here are five sports rules that could be implemented to change their respective sport, for better or worse.
This was undoubtedly the play in the NFL this season. It has been shown and replayed ad naseum by the ESPN networks and other Internet sites.
Understanding the buzz this play caused makes it mandatory that a rule change eliminate it from ever happening again.
The play was fun and dangerous. The No Fun League despises players enjoying themselves outside of strict rules set down by the commissioner and his cronies. The danger factor means that NFL egos league-wide will do their best to one-up this play.
That spells trouble. Trouble is the precursor to a rule change.
JEROME SIMPSON RULE: Players may not allow their feet to rise above their heads unless being crushed by a defensive player. Any score which is the result of such a spectacular play shall be rescinded, and the offensive team shall be penalized 15 yards to be assessed from the spot of the somersault.
Baseball is a strange sport. It's a non-contact sport, yet the game only gets exciting when contact is made.
The long ball, home-plate collisions and beaning the batter are all great examples of plays that require contact on some level. Contact is at the heart of America's pastime.
However, in 2004, A Rod was called for interference because he swatted away the glove of Bronson Arroyo, knocking out the ball.
Penalizing a player just for a well-timed swipe? What we need is a rule that encourages more contact.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ RULE: A player may do anything within his power to avoid being tagged out. This includes, but is not limited to: swatting away an opposing player's glove, thumb wrestling the opposing player's ungloved hand or poking the opposing player in the midsection and advancing to the next base while he giggles.
Detroit is a historically blue-collar city filled with hard working, every day Joes. It's a city known both for its factories and classic American values.
It's also the site of the worst NBA and WNBA brawls in the history of both leagues.
Michigan has been called home by quite a few famous boxers—Thomas "The Hit Man" Hearns, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali. It comes as no surprise that Detroit has hosted its share of basket-brawl melees.
Maybe the NBA should take a cue from the NHL and run with that.
CITY OF DETROIT RULE: Any NBA game which takes place within the state of Michigan shall be billed as both NBA game and boxing match. Participants of brawls are not limited to players as fans may also fight, so long as they have signed a release waiver. Flagrant fouls shall be suspended for the duration of any Detroit Pistons home game.
Devin Harris' miraculous three-point shot to win a regular season game against the 76ers last February was probably one of the best shots I've seen in over 20 years of watching the NBA.
What if it had counted for more than three points though?
The NBA must implement a new rule which counts shots that are made from beyond the half court line as five-pointers.
Think about how much more exciting the end of the game would be if a team was down by 15 points and hit three five-point shots! How about a six-point play with the foul?
Sounds crazy, but remember, there was resistance to the three-point line in the NBA before 1979.
DEVIN HARRIS RULE: Shots made from beyond the half-court line shall now be scored as five-point baskets. Teams may utilize this shot at their leisure, except when teams are winning by more than 20 points. Running up the score is not cool (per this brilliant article about running up the score).
Fantasy Football is not a true sport, but there is still a rule change that needs to be made for terrible players like myself. There should be an unlimited amount of mulligans for inept owners who make awful decisions on their starting lineups.
JAY RENARD DAVIS RULE: Team owners shall be allowed to substitute players who are not very good and are not producing any points, or who used up a precious first-round pick only to get injured within the first three weeks. Inept team owners will furthermore be allowed to redraft if they didn't get all of the players they wanted, or they did something dumb like draft John Carney over John Kasay or Dan Gronkowski over Rob Gronkowski. Basically, anything that would cause the aforementioned team owner less shame and stress can be redone.