The NFL Gets a New Rulebook: First Look, Details, Analysis

new nfl rulebook
Written by Kid Ramble III

The off-season is prime time for the NFL to tweak its rules. Some ideas are revolutionary. Others? Not so much.

aNewDomain London Bureau, 01.04.2015 — Offseason is the time when the Lords of Football, aka the NFL Competition Committee, get together to throw around ideas about ways to improve the game. Expanded instant replay was one result of past discussions. That was good. Making a receiver possess a catch all the way to the ground and, presumably, to the locker room and postgame press conference was another. Bad idea.

nfl new rulesOkay, sometimes the committee comes up with wacky ideas. But the members also develop the occasional brilliant change, including some that are being kicked around this offseason.

The following are some of the more intriguing proposals being considered for the 2015 season, as sources say the NFL will announce them today, April 1:

*Every NFL game will be played in London. The league figures the golden goose has been plucked enough stateside, so it’s time to do the same to Europe. Games will start at 8 a.m. Eastern time and run all day on partner networks that will cringe at the sight of crew expense reports filled with fish and chips, black pudding and ale. Tasty.

*The Jacksonville Jaguars will be allowed to put 22 players on offense all season in efforts to even the playing field. Maybe the Jaguars and their two-toned helmets will top the 15 points per game they averaged last season. Maybe.

*The league is going to a seven-day-a-week schedule. Thursday Night Football is so 2012. Now is the time for Friday Morning Football, Tuesday Evening Football and Wednesday Afternoon Football. The NFL will put each day’s package out to bid and make billions. Of course, the league will also have to force another bad collective bargaining agreement on its players when the current deal expires to keep this thing going.

new nfl rulebook*Referee Ed Hochuli will be required to cut down on his personal training during the season. His guns are putting many of the players to shame.

*Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will be allowed to wear his baseball cap on the field next season. It seems as if the thing is surgically attached to his head anyway, much like a country music star. Really, besides when he’s lining up under the center, when is the last time you saw Romo sans cap? It’s been years.

*Speaking of headgear, players will be given the option of wearing an inflatable novelty helmet on the field. With concussion safety becoming more and more prevalent, having a helmet full of hot air could only be an improvement. One possible drawback: One of my co-workers has a mostly deflated New York Giants helmet in his office. Seems fitting.

*Remember Deflategate? Who doesn’t. The New England Patriots spent most of the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl answering questions about it. Well, the Patriots want to just own it in future seasons. Why go through the annual questions about their cheating when you can just make those transgressions legal? Patriots representatives this offseason suggested teams play with a Frisbee instead of a football. That’s about the only way to make the ball any flatter and, besides, Tom Brady has been working on his disk form the entire off-season.

*The NFL is moving every team to Los Angeles. The race to become the first L.A.-based team in the league since 1995 has been at a snail’s pace, slowed by in-fighting and battles over stadium locations. The league office figured there would be no better way to settle the question than moving every team to Los Angeles. Imagine the tension when the Los Angeles Steelers take on the Los Angeles Cowboys. It’s all about tradition.

*A consortium representing the moon put in a winning bid to host Super Bowl 55. If the league can place its signature game in Indianapolis, Detroit and outdoors in New Jersey in February, it certainly won’t be worried about zero gravity’s impact on a post route or a flag pattern.

*Coaches will be allowed one do-over per game. Not surprisingly, the Seattle Seahawks developed this rule change minutes after the end of last season’s Super Bowl.

*The Indianapolis Colts proposed introduction of a nine-point play, giving teams the option of kicking a 50-yard extra point after a successful two-point conversion. No lead is safe!

rodney-campbellSadly, this last idea isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke. The Colts actually floated this idea, only to see it roundly dismissed.

Thus proving not every bad idea gets adopted.

For aNewDomain, I’m Kid Gamble, III.

Photo of referee Ed Hochuli: Getty Images, all rights reserved