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Roger Goodell and NFL Rule Change
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Roger Goodell and NFL Rule Change

Roger Goodell and NFL Rule Change

Jacob Pontius / Contributor

The National Football League (NFL) has made recent headlines by approving seven new rules this week that will be in effect for the 2016 season. Perhaps some of the most notable changes are the new kickoff return rule and the personal foul ejection rule. Or perhaps this fun one: “The Peyton Manning Rule,” which is against falling down, getting up, and throwing a pass.

The new kickoff return rule states that any touchback will be placed at the return teams own 25-yard line. Several high level NFL executives have came out and stated that this rule was to make the kickoff safer, however a lot of former players have opposed this point of view. Mike Golic, Jr., an offensive guard, argued that more kickers would try to angle kicks inside the ten-yard line, forcing the opposing team to start with a worse off field position. Golic went on to say that it has always been the kickoff team’s goal to, “pin the opposing team inside their twenty”. If Golic is correct, this new rule could in fact lead to more collisions and be far more dangerous. These types of collisions are exactly the type of plays that the NFL states they want to put an end to.

The other rule getting a lot of media attention is the new rule regarding ejections and personal fouls. The rule states that any player who gets two personal fouls in the same game will be automatically ejected. As football is a very physical and violent sport by nature, you can see why players may be concerned about such a rule. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks cornerback, made a recent statement where he suggested that Roger Goodell, The National Football League Commissioner, “never stepped foot on the field [to understand] how you can get a personal foul... He's just a suit”.

Roger Goodell has always had a rocky relationship with players and among the player union. Players, like Sherman, have always opposed the fact that Goodell has acted as the judge, jury, and executioner of the league. Sherman stated his oppositions in an interview with ESPN:

You've got a bunch of guys who have never played. They've probably touched a football to hold it out or to shake somebody's hand, to take a picture, but they've never played the game… Because you've got a bunch of suits doing it... let Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin talk about it for about 20, 30 minutes. Maybe Cris Carter. Randy Moss, let those guys have a roundtable discussion about what a catch should be and come up with a rule.

If all ends well, the new rule implementation won’t be cause for too much controversy and negate the NFL’s brand legacy or delay the season. However, as the NFL brand would not exist without its players, Mr. Goodell definitely needs to get on the same page and show them mutual respect in order to keep the league running smoothly.

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