Open letter to: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Cc: NCAA From: A longtime football fan
Dear Mr. Goodell:
The rule changes the NFL recently implemented in an attempt to protect the health of its players are turning me off to your product.
I don't want to appear callous I'm all for cracking down on dirty play and cutting down on concussions. But the game is football, and what you've done, essentially, is start penalizing teams and players for being too physical.
When a referee turns on his mic to announce, "Personal foul, hitting a defenseless player," most of the time he might as well just say, "Personal foul, he hit that guy too hard."
I can tell the difference between a dirty hit and a well-timed, powerful "football play." Your referees either can't or are being instructed to throw a flag whenever someone gets popped.
If a receiver drops the ball because of a crushing hit, a penalty is almost certain. If a defensive lineman sacks the quarterback while standing upright, he gets called for helmet-to-helmet contact. If he drops his head, he gets called for spearing. If he tries an arm-tackle to avoid a penalty, the quarterback usually gets away.
I understand that the NFL has a mountain of litigation to consider pertaining to decades of unpenalized play and undiagnosed concussions, and high-paid players to protect, but you've gone too far to cover your backside.
Maybe you should consider letting your players go back to wearing leather helmets and no shoulder pads if you want to make football more like rugby.
What to watch
College football, Notre Dame at USC, 5:07 p.m., Ch. 10: The Fighting Irish are one win from a berth in the BCS title game.
Are NFL rule changes to protect players ruining the fun of watching games?
No, they haven't diminished my enjoyment.
Yes, it might as well be two-hand touch.
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
What is the best part of the CFL?
Field dimensions: 6%
Wide-open style: 57%
Only eight teams: 5%
It's no longer in U.S.: 32%
Total votes: 63