Photo Illustration by Megan Bender

OPINION: What the helmet is going on?

NFL implements new helmet rule
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NFL implements disliked new helmet rule

Football is a violent sport. This aspect of the game is sometimes attracts people to it and it’s all about to change thanks to the NFL’s new helmet rule being implemented.

The new rule states “it is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.”

The problem with this new rule is that it’s anatomically and physically impossible to lower your shoulder without lowering your head and making incidental contact.

The penalty is primarily called on defensive players and their heads are spinning. Four-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman took to Twitter and called the rule “idiotic.”

He’s right.

Sherman, who also called for the rule to be “dismissed immediately,” isn’t the only one pissed off about it. Halfway through the preseason, we’ve seen over 50 flags in 32 games for “helmet-rule” penalties, and several calls have left people shaking their heads in disbelief.

Indianapolis Colts’ veteran safety Shamarko Thomas, who got ejected from the preseason opener for an illegal helmet hit, was fined $26,739, the minimum for a first offense, and then cut by the Colts two days later. That’s a hefty price to pay just for tackling a guy.

Supporters of the rule will say there used to be no helmets and it was changed. There used to be no facemasks and it was changed. Next they will be saying there used to be defense played and it was changed.

Rules like these have noble reasons for being made. Player safety is the NFL’s top priority nowadays due to impending lawsuits from former players and ownership is reacting to the segment of the public that believes the game is not safe enough and too barbaric.

The NFL is forcing players to think instead of react the way they’ve played football all their lives. When the regular season begins with much more to play for, we could see the NFL creating a more dangerous environment in the name of safety.

The league needs to trash this rule immediately. Go back to letting football players play football. It’s insane that the NFL thinks it can make football safer. The foundation of the game is blocking and tackling. Collisions are the essence of the game. A routine tackle cannot be a penalty.

I am not advocating that players should get hurt. Rather, I am advocating that the NFL does their due diligence and thinks before they act. Don’t let your billion dollar company’s fate be decided by lame rules made up by lame people who don’t know anything about football, just to cover your own butts.

 

 

 

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