forte-arms2

Ahhh, the Twitters, and the various other social media outlets that provide an opportunity for instant reaction, and often also instant gratification. In the before time, players and coaches or whoever would have to wait until a camera was in front of their face to demonstrate their awesomeness and have it heard by the public. Now? Just punch that keyboard, friend.

When the unnecessarily restrictive new limitations implemented by the crown-of-the-helmet rule were officially declared part of NFL law earlier this afternoon, Matt Forte jumped to his tweeting device. Running backs will feel the wrath of the new rule most, as their ability to power through attempted tackles has now been nearly eliminated. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Forte isn’t fond of the new rule.

Nope, not at all.

 

Indeed, Matt, that’s probably a wise financial decision. Much of the early discussion and irate ranting criticism of the new rule has been focused on how difficult it will be for officials to enforce it, and to assess intent. But a greater problem will be that even though the players — and especially the running backs — are now forced to adapt and evolve, that process will be incredibly difficult. Since they were wee tots playing in jerseys eight sizes too big, lowering your pad level to take on a tackler has been fundamental football.

I hope Sam Gordon is getting paid a pretty sweet salary for making her bed, because her Pop Warner league is going to take every last dime. Also, for some reason I can’t read the first Forte quote without saying it in a Stan Marsh voice.

I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA

Then there’s the matter of the tuck rule, which is now mercifully extinct. The most infamous use of the useless rule of course came back in 2001, when Tom Brady was sacked with under two minutes remaining in the snowy 2001 AFC divisional playoff game between the Patriots and Raiders. What should have been a fumble and a turnover was ruled an incomplete pass due to a rule that read as follows:

When [an offensive] player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.

The response from the Raiders to today’s decision? A gleeful farewell…