Isn’t The NFL’s New Helmet Rule The Dumbest Thing Ever?
Earlier this week, the NFL did away with one of the worst rules in the history of the league. The NFL team owners voted to eliminate the confusing tuck rule—which made it possible for a quarterback to fumble a ball but retain possession of it automatically—once and for all and got it off the books. But, in its’ place, they found another stupid rule to put into place. And, it might be even more maddening than the tuck rule ever was, because we’re probably going to see it called a whole lot more often during NFL games.
The new rule that has been added to the NFL’s rulebook calls for referees to penalize offensive players who use the crown of their helmet as a weapon. Essentially, offensive players, specifically running backs, will no longer be allowed to lower their heads and drive them into defenders. The NFL claims that it is for the protection of the players. But, the truth is that it’s going to be an incredibly difficult penalty to call, and it will really be up to the refs to determine whether or not a guy lowers his head instinctively or lowers it in order to try and inflict pain on a defender. It’s a very objective penalty that will likely cause controversy whenever it is called.
At the present moment, it is definitely the stupidest rule in sports. It’s going to change the way that offensive players run. It’s going to change the way that defenders tackle (we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of them have their helmets fly off during tackles in order to force refs to throw a penalty flag). And, it’s going to change the way referees call games. They’re already under enough scrutiny. Do we really need another rule to add to the mix?
As of right now, the NFL is going to run with the new helmet penalty. And, while we don’t blame them for trying to keep the game safe, we do hope they’ll reconsider this new rule after seeing how it plays out in the preseason. It just seems like it’s going to hurt the product that the NFL puts on the field. Just like the tuck rule did whenever it was put into play.