Vincent, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, commented on the committee’s plans Tuesday night. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the committee could suggest automatic suspensions for “egregious” hits at next week’s NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
-Excerpt used from ESPN.com
The NFL announced last night that they are looking to implement a system that would eject players for a hit to be considered a “dangerous” play. These ejections could lead to suspensions as the league aims to for safer play.
Here is my issue with this. Football is a violent sport and dangerous hits will happen. You simply cannot prevent this. No player in the NFL is intentionally trying to hurt another. By implementing this policy, the judgment of a referee can now severely alter a game.
The NFL just went through a ratings issue this past season where millions of viewers were lost due to poor nationally televised games, on going league issues, political statements made by players and the NFL front office questionable decision making when it comes to disciplining players for off – field incidents.
So now instead of trying to fix those issues, the NFL is looking to eject players for dangerous hits and allowing referees to dictate how an outcome of game may be decided.
I am all for player safety and seeing the best players on the field obviously helps the NFL’s product but there’s too many issues if this new policy goes through.
For example, if a safety makes a helmet to helmet hit on a wide receiver down the middle of the field and advanced slow motion replay shows the hit was “dangerous” the safety will be ejected from the game. This scenario is putting way too much judgement in the hands of an official as most of these dangerous hits are bang bang plays that a reaction time does not prevent a collision. A 15 yard penalty or spot of the foul marking is plenty good enough.
Increase the players fines but don’t throw players out of the game.
Do NFL fans really want to see their star player be ejected mid way through a game over a collision that the referees deemed dangerous? No way! Especially when a majority of these plays are incidental with no malicious intent besides to make a play on the ball.
An ejection on a questionable call would lead to some more severe backlash against the NFL if that call was the difference between a team winning or losing.
This is too much of a judgment call to be fairly implemented. A referee may have a different opinion on what classifies as an ejection and what doesn’t.
The NFL should leave this decision up to the player’s union to see their stance on this issue.
If it were up to me, the less power the officials have the better. Questionable officiating calls impact the integrity of the game and is always heavily scrutinized. This is just another way for the NFL to allow this controversy to continue.
Follow me on Twitter, @mikey_ryan11 for more news and analysis.