By: Eric Thomas
The first of two NFL ownership meetings will take place this weekend, when some of the wealthiest people can gather and plot the course of the world for the next year. Wait, no, that’s the Bilderberg group—or the Build-a-Bear Group, I’m not sure. I usually stop listening after the third time those conspiracy nuts say “man!” or manage to mispronounce the word “government.”
The Masters of the NFL Universe will meet and discuss the proposed rule changes for next year, likely over an ornate table catered by four star chefs, because rich people work SO MUCH harder than poor people you guys.
Here are the possible rule changes for the NFL 2014 (Part Two tomorrow!)
1. “Move the line of scrimmage for one-point extra-point kicks to the defensive team’s 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line.”
There is no more automatic scoring play in professional sports than the extra point in the NFL. It’s also the opportunity to get up and get a drink / something to eat / go to the bathroom, etc. While some analysts call this rule change a “no brainer,” is it possible to step back? Isn’t the best thing about the extra point when it DOESN’T go through? And isn’t that only amazing because it’s so automatic? If you add another five yards of difficulty, can you really scream for the kicker’s head on the proverbial platter if he misses it? What about snack break?
2. “Expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties.”
Oh. Good. Another thing that Ndamukong Suh can get a flag on. If you get away with it during the play, you shouldn’t have to pay because it looks so much more grisly in slow motion.
3. “Make the goalposts five feet taller.”
I suppose this is so the ball can’t go over the goal posts, which will make it easier to see if the ball goes through. Makes sense, and makes all those Pittsburg iron workers happy!
4. “Eliminate overtime in the pre-season.”
Has this ever happened? If so, would anyone know? This is the king of those “tree falling in the woods” kinds of questions for me, but I can’t imagine anyone still watching a pre-season game in the fourth quarter, much less in overtime. If there were ever an OT in a preseason game, and you saw it, I imagine your face would melt, consumed by the light from the Ark of the Covenant.
5. “Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line.”
More touchbacks. Fail. Just eliminate kickoff and be gone with it. Are punts less deadly because everyone starts in formation? Why not do that? Have everyone put their hands on the ground, can’t move until the ball is kicked, and start it off that way. Why does every scoring play have to yield the boring part?
6. “Install six cameras on boundary lines — sideline, goal line, and end line for replay reviews.”
Suggested by Bill Belichick. We all know he loves cameras. (Rim shot!)
7. “Allow coaches to challenge any official’s decision, except for scoring plays (which are automatically reviewed, Jim).”
‘Bout time. The non-reviewable calls are always frustrating. You know they screwed up, they know they screwed up, why not have a chance to overturn it? Nothing will get a referee chased out of town by a Braveheart inspired mob faster than screwing up an irreversible call. I’ve never even understood the conceit of a non-reviewable call.
NFL crowds are forgiving. I’ve seen guys with their head shaved, beards painted multiple colors, shirtless, except for the shoulder pads, which have spikes, go from ready to storm the field and beat the referee within an inch of his life, only to watch the replay, shake his head wistfully and say, “That’s a good call.” If the refs want to be above reproach, fine, but it will be easier—and safer—if you can admit when you’re wrong. Let’s keep this from becoming an Argentinian soccer crowd.
Part two tomorrow!