Breaking Down the NFL’s Dumbest Rules, and How to Fix Them

December 5, 2012   ·     ·   Jump to comments

The NFL's 2012 Rulebook and Casebook is a hefty 120-page block of legal granite. Eighteen "rules," each comprised of multiple "sections" and "articles," many explained by "notes" and clarified with hypothetical "acceptable rulings." Sculpted with a legal chisel and empirical hammer, even the most dedicated NFL coach, player, fan—or official—can suffocate under its weight.
Every season, the league comes up with new "points of emphasis" to reduce dangerous or ugly play. Every season, players and coaches push the rules to their breaking point, looking for an advantage. Every season, new notes and rulings and clauses and supplements are added to close loopholes, fill gaps or account for something that went horribly wrong the season before.
Every season, something else goes horribly wrong.
Over time, these patches and fixes and clarifications can confound and contradict each other, creating a mess only lawyers could sort out—that's why so many refs are ...

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