Blog Entry

There Oughta be a Law

Posted on: October 5, 2009 10:00 am
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So I was watching the Pitt/SD game last night, and saw the Steelers almost squander another sure thing. I started getting angry when Stefan Logan was stripped of the ball after running a punt for a bit. I wasn't angry about him trying to run with the punt, though. I was angry that the play wasn't stopped because his forward progress had stopped.

Football games are run as close to "by the numbers" as you can get in sports. Hockey and basketball have a lot of judgement calls and loose officiating. Soccer has "injury time" (the worst rule in sports). I've even seen some fuzzy calls in baseball (but who's watching that?). Football has actually worked to get rid of judgement calls by officials. I was excited when they got rid of the push out. I want the rules to be clear-cut enough that we can have robots making the calls. In order to do that we need to work on this forward progress nonsense.

I propose a rule change for forward progress that would make it challengeable. This is just a suggestion--a starting point:
Forward progress has been "stopped" if one of the following occurs:
1. The ball carrier has not gained yards for five seconds while being contacted by defenders.
2. The ball carrier is pushed back five yards from the point on the run which was farthest forward with constant contact by defenders.
I think the 5-yard/5-second rule sounds reasonable, but it may not be perfect. Suggestions for changes? I'm all ears.

While we're at it can we make holding a 5-yard penalty? Ten yards for touching a guy's shoulder in the wrong way seems like a bit much.


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Comments

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2009 10:38 pm
 

There Oughta be a Law

OK so the part of that that has to do with the rule proposal is this:
On your subject of refs blowing plays dead when contact is firm__ one of the teams that would be most adversely affected by such a change is Pittsburgh.  Roethlisberger continues long after he is 'in the grasp'/ had his momentum stopped/ whatever, and does so with very positive results. Are you aure you want that change?
I am sure because Ben shrugs players off before they contact him for five seconds and before they push him back constantly for five yards (usually). So I don't think that Pittsburgh would be that adversely affected by this rule. But this isn't about Pittsburgh. It's about getting rid of judgement calls. Once we get rid of them the only way people can complain about officiating is if something wasn't seen (which is why we need robot referees, but that's not happening).



Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2009 5:18 pm
 

There Oughta be a Law

Hi,mum.
    On your subject of refs blowing plays dead when contact is firm__
one of the teams that would be most adversely affected by such a change is
Pittsburgh.  Roethlisberger continues long after he is 'in the grasp'/
had his momentum stopped/ whatever, and does so with very positive results.
Are you aure you want that change?

    Your team has some short-term problems, mum.  Blowing 4th quarter
leads (for any reason)  is not something you associate with the Steelers__
as a rule.  Being fooled by an on-side kick when it is pretty much the
other team's only option? Pittsburgh?  Your boys have played themselves
into a position where they have to sweep the Ravens __ certainly 'doable',
but not that easy.
    I am impressed with the running game you have when you are not using
Parker.  Mendenhall does fumble, though.  He runs 'upright', like Robert Smith
of Minnesota, or Eric Dickerson.  This style of running 'shows' the football
quite a bit.  You will remember Tiki Barber, early, had a ferocious fumbling
problem.  Your guys might want to get hold of his tutor;  he got Barber
to hold the ball differently, and really cut down the fumbles.

    Opposite of last season, this season your guys have a pretty
Mickey-Mouse schedule, especialy early.  This will minimize the negative
effects of having Polamalu out for an extended period.  I think having
him active is something which can not be properly understood from the
'numbers' he puts up. 
    An example :  in baseball, THE best place for a batter to hit
(and you can feel free to ask any of them) is either before or after
Albert Pujols.  Pitchers will pitch you Very differently, for the sole
reason that they have to face Pujols.
    Polamalu in the Steeler secondary makes everyone around him and in
front of him a 'better' player than he actually is because opposing QBs
play differently with Polamalu in at safety.




Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2009 1:00 pm
 

There Oughta be a Law

This rule would apply to a WR also. And I know Logan didn't actually go down, but sometimes they call the play dead by forward progress right away and sometimes they wait a long time. This rule would make it a rule instead of a judgement call, which has been the aim of some recent rule changes.



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2009 11:33 am
 

There Oughta be a Law

I think there are more rules in the NFL then there should be.  This wasn't a judgement call by the refs.  Had Logans knee landed on the ground and not on one of the Steelers players, it would have been moot, the strip would have not counted.  Logan just needed to be aware and taken a knee.  Strips and fumbles tend to occur more when fighting for that little "extra" like Logan did. 

If you want a forward progress rule, then why not keep it along the same lines as would occur with a WR?



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