I love sports, but no sport is perfect in its rules and definitely not in how it enforces its rules. Here are my thoughts on the five dumbest rules in sports. What are yours?
5. NFL’s tuck rule – I can’t stand the Raiders, but that was a fumble.
4. Shootouts in soccer – Penalty kicks are great for drama and should be a part of normal game play, but deciding the winner of a big game with a part of the game where the goalkeeper is at such a disadvantage is ridiculous. Play the 15 minute periods of extra time, then go into sudden death, or as it was called during the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, the “golden goal.”
3. NFL’s End Zone and Sideline Reception rules – I submit to you Calvin Johnson’s “non-catch” from Week 1 against the Bears less than two weeks ago. Did he have possession of the ball? Was he down and did he have possession of the ball? Was the ball across the plane of the goal line? Yes, yes, and yes. Just a dumb rule all around.
2. College football’s down by nothing – In the NFL if you make a great play but happen to hit the ground, without getting downed by contact, you can get up and keep going. In college football you can make a great catch in space, but if your knee just so happens to kiss a blade of grass you are down. How many more game breaking plays would there be if this stupid rule were changed to match the NFL’s rule, that you have to be downed by contact?
1. NFL Overtime – I really don’t care that they’ve changed it so that both teams get possession now. It’s better than sudden death, it amounts to being “sudden death or the first team to five points” but it’s still dumb. I say play an entire fifth quarter and if it’s a tie, then that’s what it is. Obviously, in the playoffs, after the first overtime you could do sudden death, but that wouldn’t be a problem. I think America’s supposed disdain for ties that has brought about the current system(s) has taken a bit of strategy away from the game, to its detriment.