NFL adopts 15-yard penalty for slouching
on 4/1/2004 (0)
Hot on the heals of the NFL's recent announcement of a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration comes another major rule change, the NFL now has adopted a 15-yard penalty, in addition to stiff fines, for players who choose to slouch while sitting down on the sidelines.
|The NFL says "No mas!" |
"We felt too many players were slumped over on the sidelines during game play," says NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "You can't expect fans to enjoy the games when they feel that the players aren't enjoying the games."
The new Slouching infraction is considered an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The yardage will be marched off from the spot at the end of the previous play or, after a score, on the ensuing kickoff. If the infraction is flagrant, the player will be ejected.
"The players know they will be hurting their team, and setting a bad example for the children," Jets coach Herman Edwards said. "Children are our most precious resource, next to gold, precious gems, and oil."
The vote was 31-1, with the Miami Dolphins the lone dissenter.
"I meant to vote for it," says Dolphin's head coach Dave Wannstedt. "These damn voting machines in Florida are just so hard to figure out."
In a November Lion's game, numerous fans reported seeing members of both teams slumped over on the sideline seats, apparently either very tired or very bored. The season before, there were three such incidents, all of which left to a general sense of melancholy for those fans witnessing the game.
"They are paying these guys millions of dollars, the least that the players can do is look interested," claims one disgruntled fan.
"I paid over $100 to take my son to have a good time at a football game, but when we left, all he could say was 'Why were the players so bored?'" says another fan, a fan who vowed to never again watch another football game in his life.
In addition to the ill response by fan, slouching may also have medical consequences to players.
"Slouching creates undo stress on the back, which can lead to long lasting effects," says Dr. Bob Sampson, a professor in aerospace engineering. "It's a little known fact, but the Hunchback of Notre Dame used to be normal when he was younger but became crippled after years of needle drugs and slouching."
Despite possible physical impairments, most players seem opposed to this new penalty, citing the strenuous environment of professional football requires them to slouch.
"We work our asses off out on the field, we deserve to be able to do whatever we need to relax once we hit those sidelines," says one unnamed player. "If slouching is too much for the fans, then they should put some sort of structure to hide the players from the fans. They have no right to take it out on us."
The NFL Player's Association is currently planning to appeal the new rule change. Baring any sort of reversal of this ruling though, it seems likely that the 2004 season of the NFL will better posture all around.nutcountry.
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