From those murderous brutes at Pro Football Talk, here is the list of proposed rule, bylaw and cocktail napkin changes to be dealt with (or, more likely, ignored) at next week’s NFL owners meetings in Orlando, otherwise known as Four Days Of Golf, Drinks and Talking Behind Each Others’ Backs:
Our comments on each are parenthetical’ed.
RULE CHANGE PROPOSALS
1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line (touchbacks are the new black).
2. Expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties (new average time of game – 4:24).
3. Eliminate overtime in the preseason (yes, but better yet, eliminate the last three words).
4. Extend the goal posts an additional five feet above the cross bar (if they’re phasing out kickers, why bother?).
5. Move the line of scrimmage for one-point extra point kicks to the defensive team’s 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line (the Patriots want this, so it will be rejected).
6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews (fine, whatever).
7. Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed (new new average time of game, 5:11).
8. Protect players from getting the sides of their legs rolled up on — the rule already says a blocker can’t hit an opponent in the back of the legs, this proposal will add “or side” to the rule (damned health and safety always gets in the way of everyone’s good time).
9. Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play (how about checking directly with the Vegas books, or better yet, an internet poll at $2.99 per text?).
10. Re-organize the rules about what can be reviewed and what cannot be reviewed, including making the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play reviewable, a.k.a. the NaVorro Bowman rule (keep Jim Harbaugh’s name off it and you have a winner).
11. Don’t stop the clock on a sack (or halftime, for that matter).
12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage (while maintaining its essential erratic and capricious nature).
13. Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul (no; shut up).
1. Raise the number of active players on game day from 46 to 49 for regular-season games played on a day other than Sunday or Monday, excluding Week One (who thinks of this stuff, and why can’t they learn to find enjoyment in fishing?).
2. Raise the practice squad limit from eight players to 10 players (or boating?).
3. Permit clubs to trade players prior to the start of the league year (or knitting?).
4. Eliminate the cut-down to 75 players during training camp and instead just have one cut-down from 90 players to 53 players (the best cutdown day ever – “Everyone who plays for us step forward . . . not so fast, 37 of you”).
5. Permit more than one player to return to the active list from injured reserve so that any player on injured reserve could return after six weeks (after all, gotta rush those assets back to action as quickly as possible).
6. Permit each club to time and test up to 10 draft-eligible players at its facility, and allow any club that wishes to attend timing and testing at another team’s facility (oh, no, the end of pro days as we know them).
7. Adjust the time of the roster reduction from 53 after the fourth preseason game from 6 p.m. Eastern to 4 p.m. Eastern. All teams would have to have their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m (you in a hurry to eat?).
1. Permit a home team with a retractable roof to open or close its roof at halftime, instead of having to determine at the start of the game whether it is open or closed (if Jed York had known this ahead of time, he’d have spent the extra $400M to put a hat on his new park).
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Clint Dempsey’s return to MLS was hailed as a great coup for the league when it happened a year ago, but someone forgot to ask Mark Bloom of Toronto FC what he thought. Or more, precisely, what his gentlemen’s area thought. Turns out Dempsey gave Bloom a forceful little tap in the goolies last week and has been suspended for two matches.
Seems like the Seattle Sounders threw away a lot of good money there. I mean, you could probably pay someone from the stands 50 bucks to slug an opponent in the goolies, right?
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Sam Tageson, the 17-year-old hockey player from Martinez with a heart condition who was signed to a one-day contract by the Sharks Tuesday as a Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfillment, really ought to be re-signed for Thursday’s game against Anaheim. Tageson, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning his heart only has two chambers instead of four and will eventually need a transplant, was the hit of Tuesday night, skating with the team before the game against Florida and even entering through the previously sacrosanct shark head with the team.
So why should he have his big moment reprised? The answer is obvious – he plainly deserves better than a 3-2 loss to the 28th best team in the league, that’s why.
Plus, he could almost certainly help on the power play.
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And finally, someone with the highway department in England is going to receive a sharp talking-to after offering this impromptu addition to an electric sign a few miles north of Old Trafford, where troubled Manchester United was playing Olympiacos in the second leg of their Champions League home-and-home Wednesday:
For those linkically challenged, it read:
WED 19th MAR
As it turns out, Man U overcame an 0-2 aggregate deficit to advance to the quarterfinals by beating Olympiacos 3-0 through three Robin Van Persie goals. So on the drive home, motorists might have seen this:
EVEN YOU, DAVID MOYES