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American Football Rules

Published by marco on

American football is not static and undergoes rule changes from season to season. One such change is documented in the article Best Intimidating Answer to a Legitimate Question, in which stiff-arming has been considerably curtailed for the 2009-2010 NFL season. Marion Barber can proudly and rightly claim to be almost the sole reason for the change, though he doesn’t seem too put out by the upcoming limitation on his technique.

“Barber made a habit last year of violently stiff-arming potential tacklers in the kisser. So effective, and so unfair, was the move that the NFL Competition Committee deemed it illegal for the upcoming season. Told of the league’s new “Barber Rule,” prohibiting him from going for opponents’ facemasks, the Barbarian never looked up and immediately growled “What about the throat?””

Nice.

Even casual viewers of American football have had to wonder exactly which idiot they have to thank for the regulations governing overtime. As it stands, a coin toss decides which team gets the ball. That team has the opportunity to march the ball into field goal range and take the win. As opposed to the beginning of the game, where settling for a field goal is highly unpalatable, taking a field goal at the beginning of the overtime period is all you need to win. It’s almost never a very satisfactory end to a game. Instead, the NFL should consider a rule change, as described in the article The brilliant NFL overtime silent auction system (Yahoo! Sports).

“Each coach writes down the yard-line at which they’d be willing to accept the ball, and they put their bid in a sealed envelope. Both coaches hand the envelopes to an official at midfield, and the coach who’s written down the least advantageous yard-line gets the ball, at the yard-line he’s written down.”

A system like that would include much more strategy and would allow both teams to take the ball, if they have the guts.