- Nov 21, 2005
What's the point of football? To make it to the end zone and/or bring the player down. Going low has been one method that's been used, hitting players in the head was another method up until the past couple of years. I'm not for it, but maybe a rule about going low makes sense but it will fundamentally change the way the game is played.
Also, NFL rules changed in 2005 based on recommendations from Bill Polian. That's what has changed a lot of what you are talking about; after 2005 there has been virtually no contact past 5 yards on passes. That's why teams throw shorter passes - they can complete them at a higher rate. Also, look at statistics over the past 8 years, scoring is up from 20.5 to 23.5 pts/game and in EVERY season compared to the prior year since the rule change. Passing yards are up from 203/gm to 238 per game.
Another thing about changing the tackling rules; it would benefit Gronk as a great player but it would also make tackling players like Brandon Jacobs a lot more difficult as well. Teams would find ways to get fast, powerful runners into space. They do it now but it would become a major weapon.
The point of hockey, rugby, and lacrosse are all the same. Get whatever you are carrying/cradling/handling across the goal line. All of those outlaw hits below the waist because it results in greater injury. Players have adapted by changing their tactics and techniques to do so. Football will be no different. I'm sure it would be a lot easier to defend in those sports if you could go low. But they banned those types of hits, despite the fact that they would make defending easier, because they are prone to causing injuries.
As far as the statistics you mentioned, I already brought them up. I know that scoring and yardage have increased by about 15% and 11% respectively in the last 10 years. We could go back to the 1930s and you will see similar trends over the long haul, but I don't see people suggesting we bring back the 1930s style of play.
Look, I get that it would be a change and that the game would be altered somewhat. But just saying "it changes the game" doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. No one has been able to tell me how the game of football would be irreparably harmed by banning low hits. Yes, scoring may go up. Yardage may go up. Do either of those things fundamentally change your enjoyment of the game? If someone can tell me what kind of harm would come to football other than points going up, I'm all ears.
Beyond that, I'll leave you with another question. People always complain that football is becoming "flag football". What direction do you think scoring would go in if you only had to grab a flag instead of actually make a tackle?