The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Artificial Advantages?

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Scoring in any sport will ebb and flow organically. The problem is when Commissioners and other league executives take it upon themselves to artificially enhance run or point production with changes to rules, play structure, or the enforcement of certain policies concerning performance enhancement substances (Hello, Mr. Selig!). In the NFL's case, there has been a fairly graphic upswing in offensive advantage, and most of it has to do with an increase in certain penalties.

Through the 2008 season, I think there's absolutely been an increase in ticky-tack roughing the passer, illegal contact, and pass interference penalties, and I'm starting to think it's come to the point where the game has been negatively affected. Certainly, there have never been more pass interference calls hastily made and subsequently waved off than in this season. I'm not a big believer in the idea that officials should get a pass from public criticism, but I do think that they've been wired so tight on certain high-octane types of plays, they don't know what to call anymore.

Football is supposed to be an equitable balance between offense and defense, and when the game is structured in such a way that the very controlled, tactical aggressiveness, which makes it the sport enjoyed by so many, flies out the window in favor of trumped-up advantages for the offense in general, game quality suffers. If people want point-a-minute football, let them watch the Arena League. Leave the real thing to the NFL. Please!

By Doug Farrar  |  November 29, 2008; 6:36 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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