The Wussification of the NFL Continues As Owners Pass New Safety Proposals

Sean CroweSenior Writer IMarch 27, 2009

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 7:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots chats with team owner Robert Kraft before a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on August 7, 2008 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The NFL owners have gotten together once again and attempted to make the game of football a little safer for its players.

Here’s the problem: NFL football is not a safe game.

You can’t take the hitting out of the NFL. No matter how hard you try, players are going to get hurt.

It’s a tragedy (relatively speaking) that Tom Brady missed the entire season last year because a defender tried to make a play and lunged at his knee. It’s bad for the NFL, bad for the Patriots, and bad for the fans.

But you can’t overreact and make a rule that says any defender on the ground is no longer allowed to attempt to tackle the quarterback. That’s dumb.

One has to wonder whether or not anyone, either seriously or in jest, brought up changing the game from tackle to two-hand-touch.

In addition to the Tom Brady Rule, the NFL also outlawed the wedge on kickoffs, made the “bunch” formation illegal on kickoffs, made crack-back blocks like the ones Hines Ward made famous illegal, and made it illegal to hit a defenseless receiver in the head or neck with your forearm or shoulder.


I’m not even sure where to start.

The wedge is something I ran in high school. As a matter of fact, it was the only kick return play we knew. Teams have been running it since the days of the leather helmets. All of a sudden it’s not safe enough?


There’s some legitimacy to the wide receiver rule. No forearm shivers to the head when a wide receiver is in a defenseless position. Fair enough I guess.

But crack-back blocks?

If a linebacker has his head down during a play and gets leveled unexpectedly by a wide receiver, he deserves what he gets. What’s the receiver supposed to do? Tap him on the shoulder and warn the defensive player that he’s coming?

The wussification of the NFL continues. I’ll let Dennis Miller take it from here:



This article originally appeared on the New England Patriots Examiner page. To read more articles like this one, check them out here.

Sean Crowe covers the New England Patriots for and writes a bi-weekly column for

He is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at