Is there really any true end to a sporting season anymore? When the Super Bowl is over, when the final parade was over following the World Series a fan used to have to wait for months until they could enjoy their favorite sport.
Not these days.
The Super Bowl might have concluded a couple of months ago, but we're right back in the thick of meetings that will have a profound affect next year.
The annual owners' meeting are taking place in Florida and if your just a casual fan and won't return to football until training camp, you might be surprised at some of the changes you'll see.
One of my least favorite rules was done away with.
The hated "force out rule" which forced referees to decide what might have happened when a defensive back pushed a receiver out of bounds after making a catch. I never liked, as a player or a fan, when the fate of a game hangs on the call of a man in stripes.
I think that a defensive players should be rewarded when he 'makes a play' by getting to a receiver in time to nullify what would have been a catch. If a defender can get to a player and push him out in mid-air without causing an interference call, then heck yeah. Great play, incomplete pass and head back to the line of scrimmage.
These days in the NFL the rules are so skewed towards the offense, why not give the defenders a bone, or even a radio receiver, which was also approved this year.
Much like a quarterback is currently allowed to have a radio receiver allowing contact with the coaches, next year a defensive player will also be allowed to have the same contact.
The radio communication should make it possible for coaches in the box upstairs to make changes on the field quicker. Look for this to be of some hinderance to teams who like to go no huddle and try to confuse defenses by not allowing them to huddle. Defensive co-ordinators worth their salt should be able to help their team recognize personnel changes and alignments a little quicker from their birds' eye view.
I'm glad that the league has also done away with the 5-yard incidental facemask call that further hinders defenders by penalizing aggressiveness.
The 15-yard penalty still remains for illegal tackles, but don't penalize a guy for simply grazing a runner or receivers mask if he doesn't try and yank his head off.
Under the hmmm, I didn't know that category was the fact that the league will now allow teams who win the coin toss before the game to defer to the second half.
I can't honestly say that I even knew that teams weren't allowed to make that decision so I guess I can say I actually learned something from Roger Goodell this offseason.
Too bad former Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry can't say the same thing. Then again, he seems to be proof positive that not only is he a moron who can't seem to learn anything from his mistakes, but also that the legal system certainly does work differently for celebrities and athletes.
How many people do you know who would be walking the streets after being arrested for possession of marijuana in northern Kentucky, carrying a concealed weapon in Florida, drunk driving in Ohio and providing alcohol to minors in Kentucky? Oh by the way, all of those arrests were within seven months of each other between December 2005 and June 2006. Tell me that him not doing jail time has taught him anything. But then again I'm not a 6'4, 200 pound wide receiver with a flair for the dramatic.
I would be willing to bet that former teammate Chad Johnson is thanking him for strengthening his contract bargaining stance.
Sometimes you almost wish that you wouldn't hear anything about your favorite sports during the offseason, it rarely is good news.