Â Welcome to the NFL Boys and Girls. Â Today, the New “Hines Ward” Rule takes effect. Â Those lovely owners sitting in their digs in southern California decided a blindside block if it comes from the blocker’s helmet, forearm or shoulder and lands to the head or neck area of the defender is illegal. One of the highlights the NFL competition committee used to portray such a block was the one Ward threw last season that broke the jaw of Cincinnati rookie linebacker Keith Rivers. Â OK, so written that way it sounds really mean. Â But was that hit really intended to break the guys jaw? I think not. Â
Come on, this is football, not volleyball. Â I wonder if the guys from the 70s steel curtain think the new national football leage is made up of a bunch of silly boys. Â I mean, the Hines Ward rule – Hines is a wide receiver. Â You gonna tell me a defensive player can’t take a hit. Â Sure, would be nice if he saw someone coming at him so he could brace himself, or get out of the way, but would be nice if I had a million dollars too. Â Come on, so next we take tackling at all out of the game? Â Are we looking for NFL to be the NFFL – National Flag Football League?
Look, I hope they all stay healthy. Â I hope that no one gets hurt. Â But the game is hard. Â It’s rough and tumble. Â Get over it. Â Too much money is spent on players for me not to enjoy them beating the crap out of each other to get each single yard. Â Maybe I have aggression issues, but I want to see FOOTBALL.
Now, as I step down from my soapbox….
Let me tell you about these rules, Â also approved today:
â€¢ Teams kicking off must have four players on each side of the kicker with three lined up outside each inbounds line. The rule was passed to prevent “bunching” on onsides kicks. OK, fair enough. No bunching. Â Got it.
â€¢ No more than two players on the kickoff receiving drill can form a wedge to block for the runner. Huh? Â Really?
â€¢ Any hits to a “defenseless” receiver cannot be made by a defender’s helmet, forearm or shoulder to the head. Â Thank you Hines Ward. Â Now you and Mel Blount can be the Steelers with rules named after them. Â Oh, and owner, the Rooney Rule, don’t forget.
Now it’s clear, the NFL is scared of the Steelers. Â Both hard hitting rules, and the push to make the “boys club” a little more diverse. Â I say, go ahead men, kick that butt…the fact the rules are named after you means you made an impression. Â Sometimes on the opposing team, but never the less…they heard you. Â They know your name.
Steelers baby. Â Keep rockin’ the house.