The continuous yearly rule changes are making me a bit angry, no really; it’s making me hermatile.
The NFL and all the team owners decided it was time to institute some more rules to protect the quarterback from serious harm. One of the newest rules is termed as the “Brady Rule.”
Yes, I know that quarterback salaries are expensive and everyone is only trying to protect their investments. I know it’s hard for a team to redeem a season if the quarterback gets hurt.
In basic terms, the rule implores the defensive player to refrain from trying to wrap up the quarterback once they have been blocked to the ground.
If we stop and consider the recent and current rule changes, we can extrapolate out the possible rule changes that we will see instituted in the future.
Let us skip ahead a few years, into the not too distant future when the NFL establishes the “Quarterback personal space rule”?
The quarterbacks personal space is defined the entire area surrounding his person equal to the distance of his outstretched arms. Obviously, there will be some minor inequities in the enforcement of this rule, for those quarterbacks that don’t have as wide a wing span as others do.
The true caveat to this rule is that it carries a penalty for both the defense and the offense. Any infringement of the quarterback’s personal space by the defense will be an automatic 15-yard penalty and a first down.
The yellow flag can also be thrown on the offense. How many times have we seen the quarterback get stepped on at the line of scrimmage just after the center hikes the ball or when a running back careens over the quarterback during a flubbed hand-off? These acts will now generate an offensive infraction the personal space rule.
This version of the rule will carry a positive five offensive yard walk off. I know, I know, you’re thinking, how does that gain the offense five additional yards when it’s against the offense.
It’s all in the intent of the rule to protect the quarterback at all costs. It simply does not make sense to penalize the offensive team when the player who has been fouled is on the offense, and that is why it was decided that a less restrictive five yard version of the rule should exist.
Again, it is expected that some inequities will become apparent as the quarterback that has a lack of finely tuned motor skills will be more apt to be stepped on or run over by his own teammates. The owners are counting on recruiting those quarterbacks.
One team can pursue that superstar quarterback capable of passing for 4000 yards a season, while the next team can opt to spend far fewer of their dollars on an uncoordinated, yet fully capable, quarterback that can tighten up the positive yard production gap by receiving upwards of 1500 personal space infraction yards.
The beauty of the implementation of this rule is its direct relationship back to the NFL’s original push to create league wide “Parity.” It will be a game changing rule modification.
The genius behind this rule change is the fact that owner’s costs of signing quarterbacks will eventually come down and be comparable to many of the other team position salaries. How can you justify the cost of a superstar quality player when you can get nearly the same production out of a clumsy one?
The idea of "Parity" is to even the odds. It is in the best interest of the team owners to have the appearance of fielding a possible Super Bowl team every year.
In this way, the League and teams generate maximum revenue year in and year out. There should be no rebuilding years; the age of dynasties will have passed.
The mediocre shall reign supreme. Every year, every team should consider themselves in the hunt for a championship ring.
We can all see how this is a win-win situation for nearly all concerned.
The League will be happy that they will have finally addressed “Parity” in an observable result from a rule change.
The fans would be happy because they can always look forward to a new season and know that their team has a shot. Stadium attendance should be at an all-time high on a consistent basis.
The Owners should be happy because the days of inconsistent quarterback quality will be all but eliminated. And, of course the stadium attendance will be up.
Me? I’m going to be a little upset that I was born a couple of generations too early for this rule change.
I can stumble over my own feet as well as the best of them. With this rule to help me, in my own pedestrian way, I could have been compared to Brady or even Manning.
With the handicapping that this rule will provide, I could’ve been a football star; but now, because it’s too late for me, it makes me a little hermatile.
To Editors: Hermatile is not a real word yet. I figure if I use it often enough I'll get it in to Websters Dictionary eventually. Hermatile: extreme and excessive bitchy behavior (not gender specific).
Additional articles in the Hermatile series: