After Jamie Collins picked up AJ Green’s fumble that Darrelle Revis caused on Sunday night, he coughed it right back up. It fell into Fonzie Dennard’s hands, who kept running from the 25 yard line to the 3. Except, because it was under 2 minutes, and the NFL presumably wants to make sure that a last ditch attempt to lateral the ball all the way to a touchdown doesn’t get filed with 10 fumbles, the play was blown dead at the 25.
Think that rule is dumb? Of course it is. I tweeted that it’s right up there with the Tuck Rule, which Patriots fans will refer to as the “Greatest dumb rule of all time,” in terms of stupidity. Let’s do a quick power rankings of the dumbest rules in the 4 big professional sports, as well as the biggest sports worldwide.
Honorable Mention: The Tuck Rule
You’re supposed to put honorable mentions at the end. But I couldn’t hold back. The Tuck Rule is gone as of a few years ago, but the Pats a Super Bowl Based off of this one. HAHAHAHA.
1) NHL – The Intent to Blow, aka the “Dead in the Head” Rule.
This one gets the top spot, simply because it’s amazing that this rule exists. Whenever there’s a pileup at the net and a player finally knocks the puck in (legally), we still can’t be sure that it’s a goal. There’s a chance that the refs can claim that they had the intent to blow the whistle, meaning the play was dead when the ref should have called it. Here’s a better idea, refs. If you want to blow the whistle… blow it. At that point, the refs should have the whistles in their mouths already (Seems like I’m getting dangerously close to making a sexual joke, but I don’t do it.), so they should be able to do it pretty quickly without thinking.
2) NFL – The fact that the NFL still has kickoffs, but from the 35 yard line.
Now that every kicker is expected to get a touchback on every single kickoff and that players are usually tackled at about the 17 yard line when they take the ball out of the end zone, there is no point for kickoffs. Either go back to the good old days when Devin Hester could be one of the most important players in the entire league when kickoffs were from the 30, or ban kickoffs altogether. There’s no reason for them, and it just means that we get a touchdown with an automatic review that occasionally takes a few more seconds, an extra point (also completely unnecessary in 2014), a commercial, a meaningless kickoff, and then another commercial. The NFL hedged with kickoffs, and this is exactly the kind of rule on which you should not hedge at all.
3) Soccer – The lack of any punishment for diving.
I’m not saying that David Stern’s idea of fining players $5k for flopping works perfectly. I’m pretty sure that LeBron would gladly sacrifice $5000 in order to cost the opposition a possession late in an NBA Finals game. But at least it’s something, and soccer is the sport that most needs “something.” A huge reason that Americans can’t get into soccer is that the players are flopping like fishes. And as much as it feels weird for an American and a casual soccer fan to criticize the fact that many Europeans and Central/South Americans view the diving in soccer as part of the game or maybe even an art, well… they’re wrong. Athletes should decide the outcome of a game by doing actual athletic things.
4) NHL – The enforcer in hockey.
I debated making this one the top overall, but I do actually see where the thinking from this one originated. If you’re teammate beats the snot out of someone, then you could be energized a little, right? Well, when you think about it for a little longer, no, it’s not true, and that’s why the rule belongs on this list. If Shawn Thornton (so long, what a beast you were) beats the crap out of, say, Dale Weise (what a wuss), it’s not going to make Milan Lucic, the kind of guy who actually does useful things for his team, play better. What might help Lucic play better is if Lucic himself beats up a guy, maybe increasing his confidence and decreasing the confidence of the guys who are actually on the ice against him. This is why I don’t want fighting outlawed entirely, but the enforcer needs to be gone. Make a maximum of 8 fights a year per player for the regular season and 10 total for the regular season and playoffs.
5) MLB – The Catwalk rule in Tampa Bay.
Sure, this one barely happens, which is why it’s ranked number 5. But it’s indefensibly stupid. Do I even have to explain why? I’m gonna guess not.