When You Have Dumb Rules, Dumb Things Happen
The author has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the NFL rule book and its extensive 200-plus pages of intricate text on FBF. A 200-page document is not created, assuming humans will memorize it.
Instead, its purpose is either to offer comprehensive coverage or unintentionally disclose a lack of comprehension regarding the difficulties that complex rule sets present when applied to a sophisticated game.
Expecting every player, coach, or official to understand the rule book is unreasonable and irrational. Skepticism is justified.
The arrival of Rain Man is not on the horizon.
Mo’ Paper, Mo’ Problems
For those passionately hoping for the Patriots’ deflated balls saga to align with conspiratorial and cheating fantasies that filled agenda-driven minds, this week in NFL history should be remembered not just for a failed sting attempt assisted by uninformed, hackish media members. T
The crucial point to recall here is the common thread running through every major issue confronting the NFL today: its rulebook is filled with poorly conceived provisions destined to become significant public problems.
When these inevitable issues arise, players suffer, coaches suffer, and, most importantly, the game endures an undeserved blow to its perception. It is crucial to note that the NFL is not synonymous with football.
To reiterate, the NFL is not football; any more than Kleenex is equivalent to your sock. Football is a game people play and is cherished by American fans nationwide.
Football doesn’t reside on Park Avenue; that’s merely where it undergoes distortion.
Roger Goodell often boasts about his role in safeguarding the game’s integrity, but considering his overall performance as commissioner, trusting him with one’s life savings would be akin to leaving it in the glove box of an unlocked car.
The initial inquiry to him would revolve around the rulebook, the primary point of contact for matters of game integrity.
The question would focus on having a strictly written standard that virtually ensures anyone following it will still violate it.
The most comprehensive study can be found at Headstart labs in Pittsburgh for those not up to date on the scientific details behind the likely occurrence of the Patriots’ slightly deflated footballs.
The blunder of having a rule regarding air pressure in a football, making 12.5 PSI legal but deeming 12.4 PSI illegal when the game is played outdoors, raises serious questions.
The sheer foolishness should prompt every rules official to dismount their high horse and undergo common-sense training.
The notion of ‘cheating’ has no relevance to this situation. Yet, the NFL allowed that idea to seep into fans’ minds by formulating a clueless rule that was entirely avoidable. Setting aside rooting interests, it’s evident that the entire situation stems from rules stupidity.
Following the logical interstate, one arrives at the reality that this rule has likely been violated frequently across the league by any quarterback opting for a ball near 12.5 PSI to start a game.
This simple truth should have struck the NFL when they initially penned this regulation. The fact that it didn’t speaks volumes about the individuals responsible for this 200-plus page mess.
Air pressure in footballs is a negligible issue, now built into an erroneous skyscraper. That’s at the feet of the NFL and its proven incompetence at preventing simple problems.
Another perplexing aspect to consider is that, based on the scientific studies available, preventing the deflation of footballs in cold and wet conditions seems remarkably challenging.
This is not groundbreaking science; it’s fundamental gas law, undergraduate-level knowledge—not the elusive “Spies Like Us” scenario that prematurely judgmental individuals had hoped for.
The scientific studies suggest that maintaining a ball within the 1 PSI range in a cold and wet game is a real challenge unless you manipulate the ball in-game by adding air.
The speaker doesn’t align themselves with the camp that views such actions as conspiratorial or nefarious, whether undertaken by an official, the Colts, or any other team needing to adjust the ball in some way to stay within the range.
However, why would a league subject itself to such a position with a rules range tighter than the likely environmental effects?
This choice seems logical only if the rule-makers initially lacked understanding when formulating the rule.
The game’s portrayal as some seedy, shadowy operation is fueled by a league, writers, and “journalists” with personal agendas.
This is regrettable for those who love the game of football without all the additional baggage.
Hopefully, in retrospect, this situation will serve as a lesson in the perils of reckless journalism. On that note, the speaker won’t hold their breath.
In the eyes of the casual NFL observer, this week fails to offer genuine insights into the beloved game, irrespective of team affiliations.
The significance of the air in the ball, within reasonable inflation parameters, holds little consequence in football.
While this week’s discussed scenarios don’t resemble such extremes, societal predisposition for quick judgments may obscure this simple truth.
Air pressure in footballs has transformed from an inconspicuous matter into an exaggerated issue, resulting from the NFL’s incompetence in averting straightforward problems.
The NFL finds itself struggling for integrity on behalf of an owner recently convicted of DUI, armed with nothing more than a Swiss-cheese rule.
The lingering “gotcha” moment for those clutching at straws is the demand for the Patriots to account for the Indianapolis balls they neither handled nor had in their custody. Reflect on that logic for a moment.
Years later, clear-minded individuals will reflect on this week and chuckle, remarking, “Seriously. That happened.”
When misguided rules are created, dumb controversy becomes inevitable. This should never have escalated into a clash between fans and markets; it’s about the NFL again failing its entire fanbase, a recurring theme.
Roger Goodell, please, for once in your history, be a leader and address a real problem.
Enlist intelligent, common-sense football experts to scrutinize the rulebook for loopholes and eliminate all the nonsense, allowing fans, players, and coaches to enjoy the game.
By football people, I mean neither your input nor your attorneys’ will be necessary.
Sometimes, the best way to lead is to step aside.