Over the years, the NFL has gone out of its way to change the fundamental rules of the game in order to make it safer for its players. Or so they claim. Most of these changes have come as a result of the league's increasing fear about becoming liable for concussion-related injuries as more and more becomes known about the consequences of football's violent nature. Beyond that, though, sometimes it just seems like nobody in the NFL wants us to enjoy the game anymore. Like, banning touchdown celebrations? Are they serious?
Whether it has to do with the softening of the sport, or sucking the enjoyment out of it; the fact remains that there have been some pretty bad decisions made by league officials in recent years. So we decided to list the 10 Dumbest Rules Changes in NFL History just so you guys can see what we mean. Are we ever going to be able to get some fun back in football again?
Moving Kick-Offs to the 35-Yard Line
Flagrant Hits Are More Likely to Earn a Suspension
The Rooney Rule
Tinted Visors Are Banned
The Custom Facemask Rule
A Defender Cannot Hit the Quarterback Below the Knee
All Scoring Plays Are Now Reviewable
The Crown-of-Helmet Rule
Year instituted: 2013
This offseason, the league's decision to penalize running backs who use the top of their head to fend off would-be tacklers drew criticism from players both past and present. Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson was quoted as saying:
"I think it's a bad rule. Mostly because it's a natural reaction. You'll never be able to police it. Running backs have to be able to protect themselves and doing that is protecting yourself. The league is trying to take the violence out of the NFL. That will never happen. What's next, take the stiff arm away?
Perhaps running backs now know how defensive players have felt for years. Dickerson isn't the only one to express his frustration with the rule, either. Numerous players took to Twitter to vent about the decision, with the common complaint being that Goodell is lessening the toughness of the sport.