Are Flags and Fines Redefining the NFL?

A Mild Rant by Josh Sayers

Is it even the same league that it was even 5 years ago?  If you ask a friend or co-worker these questions it seems that they protect the NFL with all they have.  Yet, if we would all stop the posturing, I think we would agree that the NFL is not the same league it was even last year, let alone 5 years ago.  

Some of the changes are probably for the best.  Concussions are real and so are their long term effects.  However, some of what we are seeing on the field this year just isn’t football.  It’s not even close.  

We now have roughing the passer calls when a defensive player touches the helmet.  Yet, a QB can push a defensive player by the face mask into the ground to help himself back up, and it isn’t a penalty.  Not only is this a double standard, but it breaks down the very fabric of the game.  The game is meant to be physical.  It’s inevitable that a player’s head will be touched by an opposing player during the game.  

We saw a very legal hit draw a fine of $21,000 last week by defensive back Earl Thomas on quarterback Mason Rudolph. The hit was incidental.. But, who is the player we’re talking about the most?!? It’s the quarterback because that is deemed the more “important” position.  We hope for the speediest recovery of all players, and thankfully, Rudolph did get cleared from the concussion protocol. However, we recognize the double standard against defensive players is an ongoing epidemic for the league.

We either believe in player safety, or we only believe in quarterback and skilled position safety. The league has even tried to initiate a penalty on ball carriers for lowering their heads when engaging in contact, but it’s rarely, if ever, called. I guess fantasy football is more valuable than the game of football now.. I submit to you that the NFL only is concerned with quarterback and offensive player safety. This is not the NFL of five years ago and I don’t believe it will be making a comeback any time soon.

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