NFL Announces New Flags for 2009 Season

Tony BishopCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

In a startling press conference Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced plans for a new flag system for the players to be put into effect starting next pre-season.

Last week, Pittsburgh Steeler defensive back Troy Polamalu made comments regarding the fines doled out to Hines Ward for several "unnecessarily rough" hits. 

According to, Polamalu stated, "Regarding the evolution of football, it's becoming more and more flag football, two-hand touch." 

"We've really lost the essence of what real American football is about. I think it's probably all about money. They're not really concerned about safety," he added.

During yesterday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Ward blocked Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers, breaking  his jaw. Rivers' teammate and heir apparent, Brandon Johnson, was quoted as saying, "No flag came out because it wasn't a quarterback. If he was a quarterback, then they definitely would have thrown (a) flag."

Many Bengals players were calling for league action as this is the third straight week of controversial hits involving Ward.

On Monday they got it, Goodell, who decided to hold the press conference in a pink suit, announced that he is "sick and tired of Mr. Ward's hits." 

He went on to address Polamalu: "Troy, if you have a problem with the way I run this league, then get in line behind Adam Jones." 

Obviously irritated, he continued, "and as for Brandon Johnson, you're right.  That should have been penalized because there is no logical reason for Mr. Ward to abuse a linebacker or a quarterback or any of his colleagues.

"Therefore, the owners and I have decided that flag-football is the only way to keep our players safe.  The quarterbacks are our future as a league and as a community and we must protect our future."

When reached, Keith Rivers refused to open his mouth to give a comment.

Polamalu and Ward began signing blank checks when delivered the news.

"We plan on making this year count," was all Ward would say.  Polamalu merely chanted in Samoan.