FanPost

who are we really protecting?

i don't mean to beat a dead horse with all of this talk about the new rules that just passed, but two things stand out.

one, in case you haven't heard, there's a rule going into effect that says a defender who's been knocked to the ground must get back to his feet before he hits a quarterback.  the party line from the league is that this is necessary because QB's need to be protected from defenders lunging at their legs from a prone position (think kimo/carson palmer in '05 or bernard pollard/brady last year) while the QB's have their stride foot in the ground and are vulnerable to snapping a knee.  what this really is, of course, is a measure to protect the brady's and manning's of the league.  as bob kraft was quoted as saying, when a player like tom brady is lost for the season it's like going to a much anticipated movie only to find out the star is no longer in it.  how elitist is that!   not only is it naive to demand that defenders, who have been trained their entire lives to play with reckless abandon until the whistle blows, now stop themselves from making a play, it's demeaning to the other players.  the rule clearly says the following: star QB's are the most important players in the league and they need to be protected at any cost.  when jack lambert famously said that quarterbacks should wear dresses, he was seeing the future.  the worst part is that it's not just ANY quarterback for whom this rule was initiated.  it's the tom brady rule.  tom brady, whose name induces spontaneous orgasms at the league offices any time it comes up.  the only other person they would have made a rule this contrary to the nature of the game for is peyton manning.  no way they would have made the rule for a scrapper like ben.  when ben gets hit it's because he holds the ball too long or he keeps plays alive.  when brady, who stands statuesque in the pocket just begging to be knocked out (think about it: in his last two games he's been pummeled by the giants in the SB and KO'd by the chiefs... think it has something to do with the fact that HE NEVER FRICKIN' MOVES???) gets hit it's time to change the rules.  no one wants injuries but this is the most pretty boy rule i've ever seen.  it's a CFO's rule.  it's a rule for the chicks and the advertisers and the suits and the business school nerds who never screwed on a helmet.  and it's a rule that, like the hines ward rule, i hope the black and gold get flagged for early and often.

what makes this rule even more appalling is that, as peter king reported on NFL Network tonight, there likely will be a 17th or even 18th regular season game by 2011.  so let's clarify:  quarterbacks should be protected at all costs, even if the rules have to be changed to force defenders to defy their instincts and everything they've ever been taught about playing defense, but regular season games can be added to make more money for the suits even if it means the men in the trenches -- the men who make this game so brilliant and who define what football is -- get more concussions, more surgeries, more crippling injuries and die more at age 50 from complications from their playing days.  who's running this league?  AIG?  it really makes me sick...

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