Amateur hour is over.
For those not as skilled in the department of jesting, the first day of the second quarter of each year is a time where they feel the need to try to pull one over on unsuspecting people. While their lies and deceit have to be focused on nearly one day a year, those well-versed in the art of satire have 364 other opportunities to show their expertise.
Here at Behind The Steel Curtain, you will get the occasional satire article but not on the most gimmicky day of the year. Some of the satire is done so subtly, those not intelligent enough to understand it may go on a profanity-laden YouTube rant in front of ones of people to a point where we have to worry about the author’s safety (I still have your back, Tony). Other times articles that are in jest are a little more obvious.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I wanted to move on to a completely unrelated topic…
At the recent owners meetings in Florida, the NFL adopted several rule changes for the 2022 NFL season. But what fans may not know is there were other rules under consideration that were kept top-secret from the public. Luckily, Behind The Steel Curtain was chosen as the only outlet to allow these secretive rules to be shared with fans.
So without further ado, here are five rules that nearly reached the 24 needed votes in order to make it as a rule change in the NFL for 2022:
No player substitutions for an extra point
The NFL has continued to tweak the point after try to make a more compelling play. With extra points kicked from the 2-yard line years ago, the league moved back the line of scrimmage if a kick was being attempted to make it not so automatic. But are the extra point percentages still too high?
One idea which has been circulating for years is having the kick moved back to being snapped from the 2-yard line but the offense is not allowed to substitute following the touchdown. As exciting as it would be to see Chris Boswell and Pressley Harvin lined up as wideouts and Christian Kuntz as an extra tight end as the Steelers attempt to plunge the ball into the end zone from 1 yard out, what would have been more exciting would be to see the likes of Dan Moore Jr. lining up to attempt to knock the ball through the uprights.
This was the only one of the five failed rules which did not even gain half of the support around the league as each team’s kicker petitioned to keep things as is in order to hit point incentives built into some of their contracts as well as make a case for the Hall of Fame.
After a team scores a touchdown and the point after try is attempted, teams have gotten too comfortable to running out to the 35-yard line in order to kick off. To add some more variety and excitement to the game, the kickoff wheel would be carried to midfield for the place kicker to give it a spin. Numbered from 1 to 50, which ever number the wheel stops would be the team’s yard line from which they would be kicking off. Just the slightest additional force on the wheel could be the difference between the team kicking off at midfield versus having to line up from their own 1-yard line.
While this proposal started to gain traction, it only reached 21 votes in favor of it as too many AFC teams felt Justin Tucker would still be able to kick a touchback no matter where he started, giving the Ravens too much of an advantage over their opponents and making the wheel irrelevant.
Eligible offensive linemen
There is one group of players who continue to get slighted in every NFL game. While it is legal for every defender to touch the football, only six of the offensive players are allowed to handle the football once it is snapped. Why are the rules so set up against the offensive linemen?
In order to attempt to get the big guys more involved, the NFL was looking more at a steppingstone in order to make the offensive linemen eligible to receive the ball. Rather than allow them to catch a pass or take a hand off anytime, the first step was going to be the eligibility of every player on the field if the quarterback received the ball a second time on a play. In other words, flea flickers and throw-back passes to the quarterback would instantly deem every player eligible on the field.
As much as it would be entertaining for the fans to see a 350-pound tackle chugging towards the end zone on a more regular basis, the proposal only gained 18 votes as the 14 teams matched up against the New England Patriots in 2022 all voted against the rule. With the officials often confused as to the legality of formations used by New England, throwing another wrench into said plays seemed to be too overwhelming for those who are constantly underwhelming at their job and those teams feared the officials would not be able to keep tabs of the eligible players.
The idea behind this rule began years ago when it was suggested by ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on an actually watchable show which was carried by another person named Mike. Suggesting cables be used much like those utilized for the overhead cameras and simply lift a quarterback out of harms way once his part of the play was concluded on the field, the technology has improved enough over the years to make the rule a possibility.
Knowing quarterbacks are truly the franchise players on each team and the extent the league will go to keep them safe, this rule proposed that once the quarterback’s job is done on any given play, drones would be used to lift him off the field and free of injury until the next play.
Failing to become the new rule by just one vote, the ultimate factor came in when looking at plays such as the previous rule which involved flea flickers and throw-back passes. Waiting for even more technological improvements, what will ultimately see this rule brought about us the perfection of teleportation devices to where the quarterback can then be removed into a safe room with a push of a button. By using teleportation, the quarterback could then be brought back onto the field just in time to catch the flea flicker and deliver the ball down field to only be whisked away once the ball was in the air.
Head Coach Dance-off
This rule should have been passed as every team was in agreement yet one final detail left the league split. Trying to overhaul overtime, particularly in the postseason, the NFL was ready to do their part in settling the debate once and for all.
If both teams were tied at the end of regulation, the head coach of each franchise would report to midfield for the dance-off competition to determine the winner of the game. The officials would be seated behind tables and act as judges who gave their thoughts but ultimately did not have a vote in the outcome. Instead, votes would be tallied at NFL headquarters in New York based on phone-in and online voting. Whichever coach was deemed to have the best moves, that team would be declared the winner of the game.
Thinking this rule had passed, Tom Brady injected himself into the front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and insisted Todd Bowles replace Bruce Arians as he had seen him ‘drop the boogie’ in the Florida clubs on many occasions. Knowing full well Arians would only be able to stave off the two-left-footed Jim “Wang” Harbaugh should the occasion arise, Brady felt the need to give his team every advantage without having to use a pressure gauge. After “retiring” in order to do what was best for the team, Arians is likely to once again land a similar coaching job now that the rule was tabled for another year.
So why did the resolution fail? It ended up in a 16–16 split as to the implementation of the results due to there being two similar proposals. While half the teams wanted the proposal in which the results show immediately followed the dance-off, the other half of the league wanted to wait another 24 hours for a whole new results show that would be announced the next day. Being able to sell more in-stadium tickets for the big reveal, as well as the added television coverage, the opportunity to financially seize the moment was too much for half the teams to pass up. Although both propositions failed this year, if everyone can agree on only one proposed rule on which to vote with some sort of compromise on the result show, this change should pass with flying colors and be ready for the 2023 NFL season.
So what do you think of the failed rule proposals for 2022? Did the NFL get it right by not implementing these changes? Have you heard your own rumblings of other rejected rules which may not of been revealed at this time? Make sure you share them in the comments below.
And if this type of article is right up your alley, check out this oldie but goodie from 2020…