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NFL Rules Changes Aims To Remove Pain From Play

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The National Football League claims that the point of its 2016 rules changes is to “protect players from unnecessary risk while keeping the game fair, competitive and exciting.” And most of the eight permanent rule changes seem to do just that. See NFL rules article here to see all rule changes and their explanations.

But there is at least one rule change that goes a bit too far, in my humble opinion. It’s one of the rules on trial basis for the 2016 season. This rule is to have the free kick (kick-off) touchback spotted on the 25-yard line instead of the traditional 20-yard line. NFL owners are trying to discourage the kick-off return. The idea is that, teams will not want to chance a runback if they are readily given a chance at the 25-yard line as opposed to getting stuck somewhere behind it.

NFL media reporter Judy Battista provided statistics from 2015 that teams starting at the 20 had a touchdown percentage of 17.9 while teams starting at the 25 had a touchdown percentage of 20.8. NFL owners are trying to kill the kick-off, remove it from the game. I cannot fathom football played like that. Just start on the 25 after touchdowns and at the beginnings of each half? Where is the excitement in that game? It’s a stupid idea.

Fan and player both know football is a violent game, yet both still eagerly partake in the spectacle. The fans want to see exciting play. Removing the kick and subsequent return is a mistake. It will make the game a lot less exciting without the most exciting play in the game.

The NFL already treats quarterbacks like delicate flowers, and we accept it. Changing the rules to protect the QB alters the game but protects their investments. And again, with the moves to remove the kick-off from football, the owners seem to be protecting their investments.

Football is a dangerous job to have. Players go into this occupation fully aware of the inherent dangers. By no means is football anywhere near the world’s top 25 most dangerous jobs. According to David Pegg, the top two most dangerous jobs are: #2 deep sea fishermen and #1 lumberjacks. Football doesn’t make the cut.

Removing the kick-off is a radical and substantial change to the game. I am not suggesting that doing so would cause fans to leave the game in droves. However, I am saying that every time owners take a little bit of excitement out of the game, they are damaging the game’s integrity.

Football will never be danger-free.  Playing football will always cause some players injuries. Some players will be injured enough to cause their exit from the game. Do we really need to keep removing the excitement from the game? Trying to remove violence from the game is a never-ending losing battle. The fan is the biggest loser in this rule change and others like it that keep chiseling away at our beloved football game.

Head injuries are the biggest target.  That is readily apparent. What owners need to be doing is to enforce the fundamentals of the game.  As a little 8-year old football player I was taught not to lead a tackle with my head. Watching NFL players today and you can easily see that they are not playing the fundamentals of the game.  Watch the next DB attempt to tackle a receiver or running back. They lower their head and take a stab at immortality by knocking the snot out of the player and making the highlight reel.

Cut the players who cannot follow this fundamental way of playing the game. They are just hurting themselves and eventually, someone else.

I have been writing professionally for more than 20 years on various topics, including sports. Football is my passion and the Redskins are my favorite team. I will try not to have this favoritism influence my opinions. I hope that this passion translates into my writing as I bring my very opinionated pieces to you via Sports Rants.

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New England Patriots

Florida Prosecutors Offer to Drop Robert Kraft’s Solicitation Charges

Anthony DiMoro

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Prosecutors in Florida have offered to drop solicitation of prostitution charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft if he agrees to admit that he would have been proven guilty had he gone to trial to fight the charges, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Beaton.

Kraft, 77, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of first-degree solicitation after he was allegedly caught on camera paying for, and receiving, oral and manual sex at the infamous Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.

One of the incidents allegedly occurred back in January on the morning of the Patriots’ AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which the Patriots won en route to their Super Bowl victory.

According to the report, prosecutors have offered the same deal to the other men charged in the sting. Beaton considered the offer “unusual” (h/t NBC Sports Boston).

Additionally, if Kraft decides to take the deal, the Patriots owner will have to complete an education course about prostitution, complete 100 hours of community service, and undergo screening for sexually transmitted diseases.

According to ESPN, Kraft is one of 200 people that allegedly engaged in sex acts at Florida massage parlors that were targeted in the sting.

Kraft has denied the allegations.

 

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Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill Under Investigation

Anthony DiMoro

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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is under investigation for battery, according to the Kansas City Star’s Steve Vockrodt and Brooke Pryor.

Per the report, the team is aware that law enforcement is currently investigating Hill, adding that the Kansas Department of Children and Families is also investigating Hill.

“I can only confirm we received a report and an investigation is ongoing,” Mike Deines, spokesperson for DCF, said.

The Kansas City Star has obtained a police report from the Overland Park Police Department regarding a battery incident that lists a juvenile as being the victim, along with Hill’s fiancee, Crystal Espinal, listed under “others involved.”

While the report was dated as last Thursday, the exact date of the incident remains unclear, per the report.

“The club is aware of the investigation involving Tyreek Hill,” the Chiefs said in a statement to The Star. “We’re in the process of gathering information and have been in contact with the league and local authorities. We’ll have no further comment at this time.”

KCTV 5 obtained another Overland Park police report dated March 5th, a report of child abuse or neglect that was closed 3 days later when authorities declined to prosecute.

Hill has a troubling history. Back in 2014, Hill reportedly choked and punched Espinal, who at that time was eight weeks pregnant with their son. Hill pleaded guilt to domestic assault and batter by strangulation later in 2015.

The Chiefs have seen Hill blossom into a star, and they have been negotiating a contract extension with Hill that would make him the highest paid wideout in NFL history, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

 

 

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Buffalo Bills

WR Cole Beasley Signs Deal with Buffalo

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Cole Beasley

In the NFL, free agency has been wild in 2019. A lot of big name players getting big contracts with new teams. Now, add another big name player to the list.

Down in Dallas, free agent wide receiver Cole Beasley has been trying to make an offer to Dallas to sign a multi-year contract for $20 million. Well, today, he accepted a deal with the AFC East Buffalo Bills.

According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the contract is for 4-year $29 million, $14.4 million guaranteed.

Cole Beasley, who is 29-years old grew up in Houston, Texas and went to high school in Little Elm, Texas. From 2008-2011, Beasley played Wide Receiver at SMU in Dallas. In 2012, Cole signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

Here are Cole Beasley’s numbers during his time in Dallas:

  • Caught 71 percent of the passes
  • Targeted 449 times
  • 319 passes caught
  • 130 passes dropped
  • 3,271 reception yards
  • 23 Touchdowns

For many Cowboys fans, he will be missed on the field and the sidelines.

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