An Email to the NFL from Roger Goodell

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III (R), pilot the US Airways Flight 1549 crew which crashed into the Hudson River in New York City, poses for a photo on the field prior to Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
TJ JenkinsAnalyst IMarch 31, 2009

RE: More New Rules???

As the owners of the 32 NFL teams, I understand how you may feel that we as the Administration of the NFL are “toning down the game.” But you’ve got to take into consideration the players safety on this matter.

As the NFL has evolved, many rule changes have been put into place. Be it the requirement of pads and helmets, or the rule where if a play is a fumble, but the team is named the Patriots after a great American tragedy, it is automatically ruled a fumble, we do this for the betterment of the NFL.

You see, as the NFL players get bigger, stronger, and faster, we’ve noticed a recurring theme. The harder the players are hit, the more injuries (boo-boos) sustained.

In our ever constant attempt to make the Pittsburgh Steelers not play football so physically (after all, we’re only playing for fun, right?) we are going to keep the two rules and hopefully by the start of the season, we come up with better names for the rules instead of using “The Hines Ward” and “The Ryan Clark” rules.

We also would rather not see too many last minute heroics on the field, so we’re going to make it impossible to recover an onside kick if you’re the kicking team, because if you can’t win it before then, then you don’t deserve to win it at all.

Onto the tackling of other players by a player on the defense, we need to tighten these up. If you, as a defender, are planning on tackling an offensive player with the ball there are some things you’ll have to do in preparation.

Every player has received the “Request for tackle” form in their in-boxes. I ask that these detailed forms are filled out in triplicate at least three days prior to said tackle taking place.

The players will have to fill out a varied questionnaire on these forms, including but not limited to: Exact yard line of tackle, duration of tackle, and exact force of the tackle (for a list of factors that may affect this, please refer to Appendix A of your new NFL rule book).

In an effort to protect the stars of the NFL, the quarterbacks, we’re going to remove all pads from these players and replace them with a flag football belt and pillows held in place by duct tape. To sack a quarterback one must have no fewer than two hands on the player and must clearly declare “You’re down!”

Failure to abide by these rules will result in a fine of no less than $15,000 and players will undergo a review period, facing a possibly suspension from the NFL.

I know that quite a few of you will be upset with me over this but you have to realize that player safety is our number one concern, I beseech you to take that into consideration when filing grievances, as always my in-box is open for you, except for on Tuesdays between 2 and 4 PM, that’s “Roger Time.”

Good luck with the 2009-2010 season!

-Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League

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