First of all, you need to know that the NFL is a business first and a sport second. If the rules of the sport ever gets in the way of the business, then the rules will be changed. That’s what is going on right now.
I understand why the NFL has decided to suspend players who make vicious hits on defenseless offensive players. The vicious hits are jeopardizing the popularity of the game and putting the business at risk.
NFL owners and the league office are going to protect their business at all costs. They’re going to do it, even if means curtailing the efforts of some of the league’s best players. They aren’t going to tolerate players hitting their opponents in a manner that does serious bodily harm.
The players are getting too big and too fast to allow them to continue wreak mayhem the way they’ve been doing. It may be time to increase the width of the field because the speed of today’s defensive players has eliminated some of the space on the field for an offense to operate.
I will look into that idea of a bigger field at a later date.
The league’s brass wants the games to be competitive and exciting but they don’t want players to be stretched out on the field on each weekend of games.
Fans love a good hit but they don’t want to see players maimed. I could see them recoil when they saw the head of DeSean Jackson bobbling back and forth like a bobble-head doll. It’s starting to turn people off and the league office has gotten the message.
A good tough hit is one thing, but a vicious hit which is in the head area makes fans squirm from the vicious and savage nature of the game. You can’t continue to have a popular sport if players are carried off on stretchers after every other play.
NFL football has become a behemoth of a business because it appeals to the whole family.
The vicious hits are also capable of ending the careers of many of the league’s superstars. They want players like DeSean Jackson to showcase their speed and athleticism rather than being unable to remember parts of the game.
Rules were first changed to protect the quarterbacks because they are a key part of the game’s popularity. Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Troy Aikman and Steve Young had their careers ended by numerous concussions after being taking blows to the head. That moved the league office to change the rules in order to better protect their business.
Now the rules are being changed to protect receivers. As I discussed in the previous article, the prevalence of the west coast offense has led to more lethal hits on receivers. The short passing game gives defenders plenty of opportunities to deliver vicious hits on receivers.
There will be some controversy with this rule change because it hasn’t be defined in a way, so that a player clearly knows what is is legal and what is illegal. The owners would probably have wanted to take their time and make this rule change during the off season, but the carnage is stacking up so quickly, they had to make a move.
The uncertainty in the rules will cost a team or two some games, but remember, the NFL is a business first and a sport second.