Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Not So Big and Fat Greek Blog Entry

I’m going to keep this short.

I doubt you want to hear me wax poetic on the NFL and I’m all out of banal philosophy. Dunn's entry's more interesting than anything I have to say this week anyway. But I do want to talk a little about the rules I would change if I could.

1. Roughing the Passer.

When I was growing up, these “roughing the passer” penalties were called flag football. We used to run around in out street cloths with a big red flag hanging out of our pockets. I think this might be a good solution. Give the QBs a red flag, and if the defender grabs it the play is over.

Because right now it’s unfair.

On the one hand, a QB can have 10 defenders hanging on his back, and yet he can still chuck the ball or break away and start running. But G-d forbid somebody taps him after he releases the ball. Guys have gone to Siberia for less.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that in a QB league, there aren’t any QBs. I mean, really. Most starting QBs are average, and the rest suck. You think Manning is great? Brady? Please. I’d take Richard Todd over Manning and Joe Montana over Brady any day.

Did I just say Richard Todd? My word. I’m old—and vaguely stupid.

Still, the QBs are not that good. My QB isn’t that good and neither is yours. Everybody loves this Romo guy. Why? It’s like, “Wow, he can throw the ball 20 yards and it’s near a receiver. He’s the next Marino.”

So now everyone is benching their QB in the hopes that the 234892348th pick in the 2003 draft (which just happened to by Jim Dunn) is the next QB messiah.

But deep down they know he isn’t (Sorry, Jim.)

The question is why? What’s the difference between the Frank Reich backup and the Steve Young backup and these losers they have these days.

Expansion? Laziness? Fathead commecials?

Whatever. Forget about protecting the QBs. Maybe if we did, the backups would be good again. Anyway, here’s my cure for these awful roughing calls:

1. If they get hit fairly, let them get hit. Let the guys play the game without fear that a little push is going to cost his team the ballgame.

2. Declare the slide illegal. If you run, you’re a running back, not a QB any longer. If you don’t like getting hit, don’t run.

3. Any hit to the midsection can be no more than a 5 yard penalty, unless very late and involves driving the QB into the turf. Only knees and heads get 15 yards.

4. The QB must be out of bounds before a roughing call is made. How many times have you seen a player pretend to go out of bounds, juke the defender after he lets up, and run for forty more yards.

2. Intentional Grounding

The intentional grounding penalty makes no sense to me. A QB, in order to avoid a sack, throws the ball away. The ref throws the flag and the penalty is the ball is placed at the spot of the foul and there’s a loss of down.

Sounds great, right?

Except it’s no penalty at all. If the sack happened, the ball would have been spotted at the infraction and there would have been a loss of down. In essence, the penalty only awards the sack they would have gotten if the QB never chucked the ball into the ground.

So again the defense has been screwed. There is no real penalty, but the defense has been denied its sack, not to mention the possible turnover that can come from that.

I say, if you ground the ball, the refs should take away an additional 15 yards from the spot of the foul and you lose the down.

Maybe then QBs wouldn’t chuck the ball to nobody 10 times a game.

3. Freezing the kicker.

No more than one time-out can be taken between plays when the opposing team is lined up to kick a FG. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m sick of waiting 45 minutes every time a kicker lines up for a kick at the end of a half.

I don’t know what the percentage of made-to-failed kicks are after multiple time-outs, but I don’t care.

How come nobody ever freezes the QB before a potential game winning snap?

Or freezes the RB?

Or freezes the on-sides-kicker?

Enough is enough. Stop boring me, or get a ten-yard penalty.

4. Stop the free play on encroachment

Why does the play automatically stop if there’s a false start, but the play doesn’t stop automatically is there’s encroachment?

It seems to me that if a defensive player encroaches you’re telling him he better take out the QB or he’s looking at a freebie chuck down the field.

A five-yard penalty should be a five-yard penalty. Not a game-changing event.

5. Stop giving the ball at the 40 after kicking off the ball out of bounds

Are you kidding me? The 40? With the way people are kicking these days? Why not just give them 3 points and be done with it?

Do you realize this is the only automatic 20 yard penalty in football? (A kick in the end zone and you get the ball on the 20, a kick out of bounds and you get it at the 40. That’s 20 yards. Kinda severe, isn’t it? You can get more yards than that from a spot foul, like pass interference, but it isn’t guaranteed. You can get a 4 yard pass interference call.)

This was that steroids-in-baseball mentality that haunted people in the me-me-all- about-lovely-me 90’s. Why, nobody would watch your sport if you weren’t racking up points like a pinball game. So that started this ridiculous nonsense.

The 35 yardline is fine. The 30 would be better.

Don’t kickers already have too much say in how a game turns out?

6. Move the extra point and the two-point plays back.

They’re too easy.

Especially the extra-point. It might be the most boring play in all of sports (or a close second to the intentional walk.)

No play in any sport should be successful 99% of the time.


I do realize these rules changes would make for lower scoring games. And so? You have a problem with that?

No, me neither.

It’s only the idiots in New York who think we people in fly-over country (or, in my case, ignore-over country) have our eyes light up every time we see a big number. Oooooh a 48-21 game…. What fun!

No, it wasn’t fun. It sucked. The game was decided by a million penalties, rather than execution. Give me a 14-10 game any day.

Let the guy make the catch, rather than the plea for a PI.

Let the QB stay back in the pocket, rather than run for 30 yards and slide like a sissy.

Let the kicker be put in his proper place in the football universe. A sidenote, an after-thought, unless he has to hit that big FG.

Let the two-point play be as hard a long FG.

Let the extra-point at least be interesting.

And let there be peace on earth.

And I have a feeling that that last one is as likely as the others.


Weird fact of the week: On the day that Terry Bradshaw played his last game for the Steelers, beating the New York Jets 34-7, D’ Brickashaw Fergerson was born.



I think not.


Hawks Biggest Obstacles

1. Dallas
2. San Diego
3. New England
4. New Orleans
5. Indy
6. Bengals
7. Chicago
8. Ravens
9. Jets
10. Jaguars


Pittsburgh over the Land of Cleve, Seattle over Arizona, Chicago over the Don’t Cares, Bengirls over Raiders, San Fran over Green Shoulda Retireds, US still not over the day that lives in infamy, college overtime over NFL overtime, NFL playoffs over BCS, Penguins over the Rangers, Manny Ramirez overrated, Terry Bradshaw over Richard Todd, Tony Roma’s over Tony Romo, Wal-Mart's prices over idealism, number of eyes I have over Rex Grossman’s QB rating, over and out. Enjoy.


Blogger Dunn said...

I agree with everything in your post except 2 things. Manning? yes he is great, he can't win the playoff games when they count, but I have never seen a QB have the game come so easily to him and Brady, always wins, you have to give him some sort of nod as being great, after that, a lot of junk, granted, there are some unrefined greats in the making (Palmer, and yes, I believe Roethlisberger) but for the most part, average guys being overprotected, I just had to add my vote for Manning and Brady as 1 and 2 in the leauge.

I hate the roughing the passer rule, they need to change that the minute the season is over...2 teams potentially lost their entire seasons over bad interpretations of the rule (Cincy@Tampa phantom roughing call on Justin Smith keeps drive alive, Bucs score and win, Cincy, mark my words, will end up 1 game out and missing the playoffs and will look back at that & Kiwanuka from the Giants not finishing Vince Young in fear of roughing him, Tennessee continues on, completes huge comeback, cripples NYG's playoff push) rules shouldnt be altering entire seasons!!!!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Sonny said...

I love Valvis' declaration of a short column. That's my signal to print it out and take it to the bathroom (to read...not flush).

I agree with most of it. However, my biggest pet peave lately is the personal foul late hit on the sideline. The pickiness of it-- especially when a guy is still running parallel to the sideline.

We're going to see the sideline version of the Kiwanuka soon...a defender who pulls up for fear of 15 and a ballcarrier who gets loose down the sideline. I guarantee it.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Signor said...

Interesting stuff...

I agree that roughing the passer has gotten way out of hand, so I fully endorse it changing to a sliding scale like the face mask penatly. Same goes for a late hit out of bounds. That would still make them subject to the ref's discretion (which can be problematic), but that is the problem with both of these penalties anyway.

Comparing Qb's from diferent era's seems like apples and oranges to me since the game has changed so much, (more complex defensive packages, radios in helmets, rule changes making the game more pass friendly and QB friendly etc.) so I don't really know how to even broach that subject.

Intentional grounding is interesting since like Valvis said its hardly a penalty at all. 15 yards seems a little excessive, but I would be in favor of an extra 5 or so.

Freezing the kicker is pretty stupid, and I don't even think that is is effective. I think that the only way I would even try it as a coach is if I could make the kicker watch replays of Vanderjadt's miss in the AFC Divisional playoofs last year to spook him. Man was that a bad miss!

Encroachment: Sure, why not.

I'm torn about the kick-off on the 40 yard line penalty, especially in light of the Steelers glaring coverage problems this year. It was actually even brought up as a suggestion by one of the players to just kick every ball out of bounds since we couldn't stop anyone short of the 40 anyway. I think that if you move it back to the 35 or 30, this becomes an even more attractive option for team suffering from special teams problems. I think I like it the way it is now upon further reflection.

I think that it would be really hard to make an extra point challenging unless you make it longer than 35 yards. Most kickers are nearly automatic on anything inside 35 anyway, so I think that it will stay as is.

One rule change I would like to see enacted is a slight variation to the challenge rule as it is. I DO NOT think that you should lose a challenge if the play is overturned. I know that it will possibly slow down the game a little, but why should a team and coach be punished for correcting the officails on a blown call? You should only lose one of your 2 challenges when you are wrong. This doen't seem to get much attention, but I remember it hurting us in the 2001 AFC Championship. We had already used our 2 challanges, won 1 of them, and then New England had a big play that could have been called back had the Steelers had another challenge. Alas, we did not and the rest is history. Damn Patriots!

11:50 AM  
Blogger Jim Valvis said...

I hope you guys know I was joking about comparing Richard Todd to Peyton Manning. Richard Todd was a serviceable QB, but he wasn't a Manning or even a Chad Pennington.

I mainly like to bring up his obscure name so I look smarter than I am...

If I were to compare Manning to anybody, it would be Marino. Much sound and fury signifying nothing.

All those stats to keep those cold ring-less fingers warm.


Oh, and Sonny, this was my shortest Tuesday entry yet.

It was around 1300 words.

I've written longer haiku.

4:51 PM  

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