If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is seriously considering eliminating kickoffs, as was shockingly revealed in his recent TIME magazine cover profile, then I've got another wild rule change he might as well consider.
First of all, eliminating the kickoff? How far are we gonna go here, with all the new rules and changes? Replacing kickoffs that follow scoring plays with this new Greg Schiano-concocted 4th and 15 option play would be a major change to the game. Too major.
So if even the most drastic new rules are being legitimately acknowledged then how about considering the one I just came up with yesterday on our weekly podcast: a do-over play.
That's right, a mulligan, if I may use a golf reference on a football blog. Head coaches would have a blue flag that can be thrown only once a game, giving their team another chance at any play, whether it's offense or defense, and at any time.
It would be like the play never happened. No down is lost, no distance is lost, no timeout is lost and any time run off the clock on the original play is returned back. And if the blue flag were thrown by both coaches on the same play, they would cancel each other out, the play would stand, and the game would continue normally with no more chances for a do-over.
Think about all the potential exciting new scenarios. Miss an important field goal and want another crack at it? Blue flag! Bulls*** pass interference penalty on your defense puts your opponent in scoring range? Blue flag! Need to throw a Hail Mary to win the game and don't get it? Blue flag!
Deciding when to use the blue flag would add an entirely new layer of strategy. This is where good coaching and game management come into play. Choose the optimal play and it could completely change the outcome of the game. Hell, the Saints might have beaten the Falcons last week if they'd had a blue flag to use on Drew's first interception or that stupid play before the first half.
Fans would have a new topic about which to argue incessantly over; whether their team used the blue flag on the right play or not. Should they have used it on that early fumble, or saved it when they didn't quite make it on 4th down? It would cause rioting in Philly.
Why a blue flag? Beats the hell outta me, that's just what Ralph blurted out on the podcast so I went with it. But it works well. When a team throws the flag and replays their previous down, we could call it a "blue-over." I can see the Monday morning headlines now: "Feeling Blue: Saints Lose Again on Falcons Second Chance FG" or "Blue Monday: Schiano Negates Brees TD, Bucs Win On MNF" or my personal favorite, "Blue Balls: Two Nullified Fumbles Force Saints and Panthers Tie." But it could be any color, doesn't matter. Of course the league could make it pink during the month of October to help raise breast cancer awareness.
Anyway, I'm just throwing that out there since Goodell is apparently willing to entertain any and all potential changes to the game that would make the sport of football completely unrecognizable. Looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts and opinions on my new rule.
What do you think about my new blue flag idea?
I love this rule! (28 votes)
Needs seem tweaking but it could work. (12 votes)
What a horrible, stupid idea. (54 votes)
94 total votes