With all the outrage we are hearing about the new kickoff rule in the NFL, it is tough to imagine how the decision received enough votes to pass. Thus far, it seems as though everyone hates the fact that kickoffs have been moved forward five yards. The Bears showed their displeasure with the rule by ignoring it altogether in a preseason game. Bill Belichick even told us that the NFL plans to eliminate kickoffs altogether, which would be a devastating blow and change the game completely.
Former Titans safety Donnie Nickey decided to weigh in on the subject on Monday. Nickey sent an email blasting the NFL for changing the rule, saying they are eliminating jobs and “destroying the true game of football.” The Tennessean shared the email with us and the entire thing is worth a read, so here it is:
Just a thought from an unemployed ex-Titan … In today’s economy industries need to be creating jobs. In the NFL, the new kickoff rule is eliminating jobs. The kickoff may as well be eliminated all together. For eight years I made my living covering kickoffs and I took pride in it. The kickoff may be the most violent play in all of sports but is one of the most exciting and game changing plays as well.
The first sign of the kickoff’s extinction was the elimination of the four man wedge. That eliminated the need for a wedgebuster, which is how I earned my job. I think the NFL is destroying the true game of football and the physicality that America has grown to love. For someone who has never played the game to make so many changes unchecked is criminal. Paul Brown is rolling over in his grave because of all the changes made in the name of “player safety.”
People go to NASCAR races to see wrecks. People go to football games to see long touchdowns and devastating hits. It’s an injustice to the game and the men who have made their living covering kickoffs and sacrificing their bodies to have their jobs made obsolete. They might as well just have the kicker try to make it through the uprights on the kickoff for two points and the receiving team start at the fifteen or miss and start at the twenty.
Roger Goodell is hurting our game and eliminating jobs. Do NASCAR drivers get fined $100,000 for wrecking their cars? It’s part of the sport. Come on Roger, America loves violence and the men who are lucky enough to be in the NFL love the game. Businessmen, lawyers, and insurance companies are turning football into flag football and preventing men like me from feeding my family.
The NASCAR analogy is spot-on. The game of football is violent, and that is why it’s the most popular sport in America. By making changes that will make the game less dangerous, the NFL is playing a dangerous game with their popularity. As of now, football is still football and people will live and breathe it. However, it is not unreasonable to wonder where the rule changes are going to end.Google+