Before I get started on my rant, let's get this straight: I am all for player safety. There is no way to stop injuries completely, but I like how the league is preventing them.
But come on, you gotta know when to draw the line.
The NFL Competition Committee met Monday in New Orleans to discuss a new rule for kickoffs, and they crossed the line and then some. Instead of kicking off from the 30 yard-line, the committee proposed to move it up five yards, kicking it off from the 35 yard-line.
The reason you ask? If you pushed it forward five yards, there would be more touchbacks. More touchbacks equals less run backs, and less run backs equals a less chance of kick returners getting injured.
I know, I couldn't believe it either. The league is actually encouraging touchbacks.
Besides, it's not like kick returners are known to get injured. Ya, there are a lot of dirty penalties on kickoffs and returns, but very rarely is somebody actually injured.
OK, it's not like the league hasn't changed the kickoff rules before. A couple years ago, they changed the blocking rules so you couldn't link arms and form a wall.
And that made sense, after all, a wall of three or four, 300-pound men that run faster than any 300-pound man should run, running right at you, would make any grown man wet himself.
That rule made sense! And it did make the NFL a better and safer league.
But this rule is basically taking away one of the most exciting plays in sports. The kickoff is a play where nothing can turn into something with a snap of the fingers. To take that away is criminal.
And the players apparently aren't too happy with it either. One in particular, the most dangerous return man quite possibly in NFL history.
I guarantee you were all thinking Devin Hester, and you'd be correct. Here's what he had to say about the new proposed rule via tweet:
"I see the NFL is trying to take the kickoff game out, they already punt out of bounds. What's next?"
The kickoff and kick return teams are two of the most important teams in sports. And to take that away, it makes so many players expendable. This rule would basically destroy special teams in general. And with most teams punting out of bounds anyways, there is virtually no special teams, and no battle for field position.
Suddenly, players like Devin Hester and Joshua Cribbs stock value takes a hard hit. They could release these players, and it wouldn't make that big of a difference. Because all you'd need is somebody with sturdy hands to catch it in the end zone.
Before, the coaches would get together, name their starters on offense and defense, name their backups on offense and defense. Then look at the leftovers.
They thought long; they thought hard; then, it clicked...
Now, the coach is going to name his starters. Then, he'll look at the leftovers, and then release them all.
I've got an idea Roger! How about you just get it over with, get rid off kickoff and returns, and just make the offenses start at the 20 right off the bat.
Because that's pretty much what you're proposing to do anyways.