• If a punt returner makes a fair catch signal and muffs the ball, he is entitled to "reasonable opportunity" to catch the muff before it hits the ground without interference from the coverage team. The ball will be awarded at the spot of the interference, but there will be no penalty yardage marked off.
First off, the fair catch rule is retarded... and now we have this. So if the untouched returner still manages to mess up the catch (and really, if you can't catch a ball in an open field, what are you doing in sports?), the NFL's going to give him yet another opportunity to catch it?
Here's a thought: Why not have the opposing team just back off about 15-20 yards so the returner can walk over, pick up the ball, brush any dirt off of it, and then the opposing team can tackle him. That sounds fair!
Cheif, I don't think you quite understand the purpose of the fair catch rule which ain't RETARTED. To protect the receiver; A receiver directs his attention toward the incoming punt and cannot focus on the defenders running towards him. He is vulnerable if he DOES NOT WAVE THE FAIR CATCH. What part of this don't you understand? :roll:
You have a point The Chief Lord, but the NFL is a different game and will retain the fair catch rule as derived from rugby in the first place mind you. :thup: In rugby FYI the fair catch is called a "mark."
And I think it's great the way things are in the CFL now too with only a 5-yard penalty for no yards in case the ball bounces on a kick and strikes a coverage player as changed recently instead of the previous 15 yards or more as remains the rule if the ball has not yet touched the ground and the catch is interfered with or the 5-yd "halo" is encroached. There was another post on here about that rule change under the CFL section anyway.
It's quite interesting to see how each game developed from the same root in rugby union. Note that in the NFL a fair catch can be called on a kickoff as well, and because the way the rules are written, onside kicks are different in either league for that reason too.
Basically the effect here with the NFL rule is to offer no incentive at all for a coverage team player to clobber a guy making a fair catch by trying to time blows just in case the receiving player bobbles the fair catch. Essentially any possession advantage for the coverage team of taking a chance on a cheapshot, irrespective of the yardage penalty or fines, is eliminated altogether.
The penalty for interfering with the fair catch is 15 yards plus possible fines anyway, and now given the split second timing required to allow the receiving player to touch the ball to make the catch so as to avoid such penalties, the coverage player has zero yardage or possession incentive to clobber him as at the end of a half or otherwise.
Related is the change regarding the application of dead ball fouls at the end of halves as well.
I understand the rule perfectly. I still think it’s stupid. I prefer the way the CFL handles returns. And with this rule, the NFL is basically giving the receiver a second chance to catch the ball. Again, that’s stupid. If he misses the catch, then the ball should be fair game. Not to mention, what exactly does “reasonable opportunity” even mean? :roll:
I'll be darned I spelt The Chief wrong in my first post and my regards for that. Otherwise good writeup there Paolo X. on NFL football. :thup: It's not STUPID, it's a different game set of rules that thee NFL has. GET USED TO IT AS YOUR TEAM IS THE INDY COLTS.
I get the fair catch, it's like the 5 yards we have simply to protect the returner, it's tough catching a football coming down from how many feet in the air often with the wind blowing it around. But what I don't like about the fair catch is often out of pure conservatism on the returning teams part to protect a lead, the guy calls a fair catch and no one is within 10 or more yards of him. He was just going to call it anyways. That part I can't stand. No system is perfect, each has it's fault but it shouldn't be allowed to call a fair catch like that with absolutely no motivation to try and do something with it.
This is absolutely the finest point against the fair catch I have ever read, and I have to agree with you Earl actually. It will however be quite awhile before such a case is taken up by the NFL though to improve the game.
Like many rules in either game, they stand due to tradition and the games heritage more than anything else including even common sense. More often than not many prudent recommendations for changes to the rules do not matter though, as both organisations have very conservative ownership, and nothing changes unless reasons for such changes are extremely compelling at the annual meetings.
Sure I and some other fans would like some rule changes in both leagues including to improve the flow of play, with only four such changes in my view for the CFL including two items in common fan discussion involving singles and OT. A third item involves banning needless wanton high tackles for sake of player safety, and the fourth involves allowing offencive linemen able to go downfield more (but not be receivers of course) as I would want in both leagues. And then there are others that make sense for the NFL too borrowing some fine rules from the CFL for that matter.
Consider how much it took to override all the doubts to change NFL OT this year. It was only when all the owners were sat down and confronted with some incriminating evidence on the status quo and the prospect for even worse that many of those against the changes changed tune.
Furthermore, a rule on "defenceless players" that basically accomplishes about the same as I had advocated under the "concussions" post in "Other Topics" by eliminating most dangerous high tackles has been passed as well. I suspect its passage was more than likely due to the increasing amount of evidence piling up against the NFL with regard to concussions and long-term physical injuries from sustained blows to the head, much as was observed at the expense of Muhammed Ali only at the end of his boxing career.
Not only is this better for the game as well as player safety, but let's not ignore for sure the NFL wants to limit its potential long-term legal exposure given the current legal battle with older retirees.
Indeed on the matter of player health by not doing anything more by merely letting "any such sleeping dogs lie," which usually works, one cannot absolutely assure oneself that any such vicious dogs will not come around to bite them or someone else down the road.
Good read Paolo, well in fairness to the NFL, most leagues stay with the status quo it seems until there really is a problem surfacing, like the NHL and head shots. It's too bad pro leagues can't be more pro-active with regards to players health before too many incidents happen but as you say, tradition is a very powerful motivator to keep things the same and I undertstand that to a point but I think in some cases the leagues should be a bit more pro-active rather than worrying about changing the game too much.
I'll tell you what I don't like about this NFL rule. it's 3rd and 3 the QB throws a five yard pass, it's dropped. Now forth and three they go to Commercial, three minutes later, they return. The punter boots it's 40 yards, face catch is waved by the returner, they go to commercial another three minutes the game resumes. Basically you have 6 minutes of commercials and a meaningless play in the middle. thank GOD I have a PVR.
Here is the rule change I would like. No TV timeouts between third and forth down. and no tv timeouts between Kickoff and opening play on the drive.
Spot on Ugo and due to the clout of the advertisers only, this absolutely will not change. Furthermore the commercials during NFL games in the US are especially annoying as well and include ads by Wal-Mart.
Such times are usually when I go online and surf around or head for another beer. It was worse in those old days before cell phones and the internet (pre-2001 for most folks w/out high speed) when there was less to do during commercials.
And no I'm not old enough to tell you to get off my lawn yet.