The Steady Decline of the NFL Pt 1- The Rules

If you’ve watched any bit of news about the NFL in the past 2 years you’ve seen the friction surrounding the league. Player protests have dominated the headlines lead in large part by Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem. While the topic has been up for debate since the first kneel down, there’s also another smaller less important story. The ratings for the NFL continue to decline and everyone wants to blame the political protests. Unfortunately for people using logic, there’s much more going on in the NFL than peaceful protest.

The game has changed so much under Roger Goodell. The rules were voted in to push player safety and has changed the way we watched football. Kick-offs were moved up to force more touchbacks. Concussion concerns are forcing players to hit lower now, which seems more players are being lost for the season with ACL injuries. Even extra points went from being a chip shot to now a 30+ yard FG.

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However the one rule that stands out the most that is ruining the NFL is the “catch rule”. Nothing will take the excitement out of a game than watching a go-ahead touchdown be ruled an incomplete pass. Fans and players alike are growing more and more frustrated with the game because no one can be consistent on what is or isn’t a catch. So many catches look incomplete and are ruled a catch, so many others look like a catch and are ruled incomplete.

The growing problem isn’t that these catches are made in blowout games in the second or third quarter. No, they’re coming late in the fourth quarter, typically in close games late in the season with playoff implications. Instead of the players and coaches on the field, the refs and the NFL are deciding games.

While referees are their to keep up the integrity of the game, the crucial nature of these calls is a turn off to fans. Not because the refs are getting the calls wrong, but because there’s no consistency. You can have every NFL expert trot out on ESPN week in and week out and explain the rule and why the ref made that call, but next week it’ll be a totally different response. Maybe the protests are hurting the game, but the NFL is starting to suck the fun out of football and needs to be held accountable as well. Fans are all for rules that make the game more exciting and fun to watch. Now its time to right the ship and put a less frustrating product back on the field. Fix the “catch rule” and stop toying with fans.

 

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