Apparently the NFL is attempting to avoid all injury and any possible harsh result that could befall a human while playing the game.
FOOTBALL IS A PHYSICAL GAME!!!! WHEN BIG STRONG MEN RUN AT OTHER BIG STRONG MEN PEOPLE GET HURT!!!! THEY ALWAYS HAVE AND THEY ALWAYS WILL!!
The NFL enacted five new rules today. Three of them are stupid, one has been needed for a long time and one is sort of vanilla.
The "good one" first. This is the "Hines Ward rule". Finally after Hines Ward ended another player's season the NFL is outlawing his trademark crack-back block. No longer can a player deliver a blind side block to the head of a defender using his head, forearm or shoulder. This has been needed for a long time. If you are going to decleat another player by blocking them from the blindside go the the shoulder, ribs or stomach. Not incidentally, this is the only rule change related to head and neck safety.
The vanilla rule applies to defenseless receivers going across the middle. A couple of years ago the league outlawed helmet to helmet hits in these situations. Now a defender will be penalized for delivering a hit to the helmet with their forearm or shoulder.
The next three are dumb, necessary, retarded, and poontastic.
The "Tom Brady" rule. Defensive players laying on the ground can no longer dive at the legs of quarterbacks. Sorry defenders, if you get knocked down, slip, trip or otherwise hit the ground you must now either stop playing or stand up and do a jumping jack before attempting to sack a quarterback. This rule is so stupid on so many levels.
The next rule is just plain ridiculous. What is the most exciting play in football? Undoubtedly it is the kickoff return for a touchdown. The league is trying to ruin that by eliminating the wedge on kickoff returns. No longer can the return team have a three person wedge. It now can be only two players. The third blocker cannot be within two yards of the modified wedge.
The final rule is for onside kicks and is, you guessed it, preposterous. The league stated that after review "ample" game tape of the "violent" collisions on onside kicks they are trying to make onside kicks safer. First of all, they happen once a week, maybe in an NFL season. We're talking about 16 times during a season, max. Now there must be at least 4 players on each side of the kicker. 3 players on each side must be lined up outside the hash mark and 1 player must be outside the numbers. Stupid.
Way to go NFL.
Bold prediction: By 2020 it will still be the NFL, but short for National Flag-Football League.