TO THE NFL COACHES, PLAYERS, FANS AND THE COMMISSION:
Last year, the NFL instituted a new rule regarding maintaining possession of the football, which clearly caused a perfectly good touchdown to be revoked from the Detroit Lions and Calvin Johnson. This resulted in a loss by the Lions to the Bears.
The latest assault on the purity of the game by the NFL is the new rule designed to limit concussion injuries, which takes the kick off return, the most exciting and often most memorable event in the beloved sport of Football, and steals it away from the coaches, the players and the fans.
The NFL is flat out wrong, if not just plain stupid. What will it be next removing the punt return?
Football Players can generate enough speed to cause head injuries from full contact in a matter of feet or yards. The mechanics of generating hits powerful enough to dislodge a helmet, cause a concussion or break a bone can often occur from the explosive force of a man rising up from a three-point stance.
Those of us who play or have played football understand this. The moment before you unleash that force, you can decide the level of violence you want to unleash on another man. But there are times at the point of impact when it is not a matter of your decision as much as it is where the physical impact occurs between the two players, which neither player involved in the impact can completely control. For example: If a ball is caught two inches higher, a hit can appear much more violent to a spectator than if it were caught closer to the chest.
I thank Lovie Smith and the Bears for standing up to the new kick off rule, which is akin to the US Government passing a NO CHRISTMAS TREE law and expecting people to follow it on Christmas day.
The NFL can count on this: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CONTINUE TO RUIN THE GAME OF FOOTBALL, THE FANS, COACHES AND PLAYERS WILL NOT ALLOW IT. So get rid of your number crunchers, who are ruining the game, and take in the big picture of the game.
Having been a player and fan of the game all my life, with the kind of passion and enthusiasm that only we who have played can understand, I personally have acquired a level of disrespect and remorse over the NFL in the past few years, with the strict tackling calls, the "process of the catch" calls and now the Mother of all Stupid rules, NO KICK OFF RETURNS.
It simply has not been thought through, and if the goal is to reduce the number of concussions from running the length of the field, consider it does not take the length of the field to generate the speed or the mechanics involved with a concussion.
Traverse City, Michigan
A Die Hard Detroit Lions Fan and long time NFL fan
Pass this letter around the US if it helps. No problem. Use it to petition the NFL if you would like.