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Chillin' with Dylan—NFL rule changes looming

January 8, 2014

By DYLAN MALONE
    It was only a matter of time.
    Money talks in this world and sometimes it is never more obvious than in the sports world. Sad but true.
    It is money that makes baseball games last three hours at least thanks to an over-abundance of commercials. Money that has finally expanded the college bowl situation as well as the continuing growth of March Madness for college basketball. Money also is the reason the NFL nearly had to blackout a few Wildcard games.
    It’s time to take a step back and analyze the product from the fan’s perspective.
    The Indiana Pacers are on a short-list of some of the best values in sports because of a combination of their current success in recent years as well as low ticket prices. Court side seats in Indiana cost less than nose bleeds for the abysmal New York Knicks.
    The owners will tell you that you are paying for the experience. Is that right, Wrigley Field? I shouldn’t have to go bankrupt buying a few tickets and purchasing ball park food, while the Cubbies trade away all my favorite players yet again.
    Back to football.
    Rule changes are looming in the league. Yes, more than what has already been thrown out in years past.
    With the concern for concussions, players on defense are at a severe disadvantage all of a sudden. From watching all the ridiculous penalties this season it has become clear that the only clean hit left on an offensive player is the one right in the groin and stomach area.
    Then there’s the kick returns (or lack thereof) because of the worry that the special teams game is cause for a majority of the hits. Boring.
    With the installation of replay into the game, games are getting way out of hand as far as delays. TV timeouts already stretch games way too long and now we have to sit and watch as a bumbling group of officials tries to figure out if they have “undisputable evidence” that a play should be overturned.
    Take it out of their hands!!!
    Let the central hub of NFL offices analyze the plays real time and give the officials a quick, timely resolution. We’re not taking power from the refs, but simply allowing them to keep the game moving with less human error.
    It also needs to be a scenario where it is completely necessary. I’m tired of video replays checking a yard mark that isn’t even for a first down!
    What is coming now from above is even scarier in my opinion. There is talk of doing away with the extra point.
    I have mixed emotions about this as a purist who wants to see the game unhindered. A bit late for that, though.
    While I can see how the extra point is becoming just a technicality (only five teams have missed an extra point in the 2013-14 season...only one per team).
    There needs to be some flare to it now because kickers have become such a specialty that there is no way they are going to miss unless it is a botched snap (just about as unlikely as the miss).
    I like Dan Patrick’s idea of moving the extra point to the one-yard line instead of the two. Maybe it’ll draw more teams to go for two making the game a lot more interesting in that aspect.
    Here’s another idea...how about the guy who scores has to make the extra point? Like in the NBA when a dominant scorer can’t make free throws (i.e. Shaq or Dwight Howard) it can affect the team so to will the guy who can’t make the kick afterwards.
    Just a thought.

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