NFL announces 2013 rule changes

The NFL has announced the rule changes for 2013 with three big modifications:

1 – The “tuck rule” is gone!

2 – The crazy “red flag rule” that hosed the Lions and Falcons last year has been changed.  It will still be a penalty for “unnecessary challenge” (or however they word it), but officials will still review the play.

3 – Likely the most difficult new rule is that a “runner in the open field cannot  lower his head and initiate contact with a defender with the crown (top) of his helmet“.  This has been legal since day one, and now suddenly isn’t, which could take some adjustments by ball carriers.

Mark over at Football Zebras has a great review of the changes that is certainly worth reading.

NFL refs not allowed to use any social media

Well this seems short-sighted.  The NFL has decreed that all referees are not allowed to use any social media.

NBC Sports:The league also has blocked referee Ed Hochuli from tweeting apologies for his next blown call; the policy prohibits NFL game officials and the officiating department from using social media at any time.

My question: What exactly is social media? Sure, that includes Twitter and Facebook.  What about text messaging?  Only to other people?  Not at all?  Can they create an account on YouTube account to post comments?  Digg?  Google Reader has more and more social features, so does that count?  The grayness of this gets confusing quickly and will only get worse.

I can see what the NFL is trying to do, but they seem to be taking the wrong angle.  Why not simply prohibit them from posting anything job-related?  That seems fair and easy.

Other items from this new policy block players from posting anything social from 90 minutes pre-game to after the post-game press conferences, and no internet sites may post anything that resembles play-by-play.  Good luck with that.

League to officially look into “inadvertent whistle” rule in the offseason

After the Broncos-Chargers mess, we figured it would happen — the NFL has officially announced they’ll be looking into the inadvertent whistle rule during the next offseason.

ESPN compares it to the “down by contact” rule that was changed a few year ago, which allowed officials to review some plays that they previously couldn’t.

It’s it a bit to late to please Chargers coach Norv Turner, but it’s nice to see the NFL taking steps to prevent this from happening again.