THE COIN MUST FLIP: And Other New NFL Rules Based On Common Sense
On Tuesday, former NFL Vice President of Officiating and current Fox Sports rules analyst Mike Pereira took to Twitter to detail some new rule changes that you may not see listed as "new" in the official sense.
Apparently the NFL does this cute thing where they add new specific rules into the rule book based on discrepancies from the previous season but don't list them as new rules because they believed them to have been previously implied; despite the fact that the original discrepancy inspiring the rule change occurred because they were merely implied and not written rules.
::Takes deep breath::
But I digress. Let's take a look at some of the examples that Pereira provides for rules that have been - for lack of a better word - clarified.
This is in direct response to James Jones' admirable attempt at subversion last season, in which he managed to wear a hood under his jersey without directly violating any of the NFL's incredibly strict uniform policies and codes. It was an inspired bit of trickery, but the new rule makes sure that the sweatshirt hoodie remains solely a Bill Belichick trope.
AKA the Joey Porter Rule. Remember that disastrous debacle of a wild card playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals? If so, then you remember that Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter came out to "check on" a brutally concussed Antonio Brown, and wound up getting into an all-out brawl with some of the Bengals players.
He was fined $10,000 for the incident, but there was really no good guy in this situation. The Bengals' Pacman Jones and Vontaze Burfict had spent the entire game roaming the field like rabid hyenas, attempting to injure any Steelers player they could spear their helmets into. Still, Porter's behavior should've resulted in a flag. If it had, the Steelers probably would've lost that game.
OH SNAP! I almost forgot about FlipGate. This was yet another controversial playoff situation in the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals during which the coin toss heading into overtime went awry. Head official Clete Blakeman oversaw the coin flip, but in a rare case of nerves combining horribly with gravity, the coin never flipped.
Now, flipping a coin for possession in an overtime quarter of a postseason game is a major deal to begin with. But when players think there is hanky-panky, things tend to get even more tense. At the time of the incident, the resolution was left up to the official's discretion. Blakeman did exactly what the rule now specifies. He picked the coin up and re-flipped it, with the Captain's original call standing.
Glad we have that all figured out now, because that's the rule that has had NFL fans pulling their hair out for years. God forbid they put their heads together and figure out what constitutes a goddamned "catch." Maybe next year my friends. Maybe next year.
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