Hey NFL, take a page out of high school’s playbook.


Emily Farthing

Junior Evan Ranallo runs with the ball in the game against Harrisonville on Sept. 7 at the DAC. The Huskies dropped the game to the Wildcats, 29-24.

Blank Report, Ryan Blank

NFL, it’s actually time to start caring about your players’ safety and making some real changes through the coaches, instead of making drastic rules that are failing to work and frustrating players.

This past NFL offseason, the league passed a new rule on head-to-head contact. The new rule states, “it is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent. Contact does not have to be to an opponent’s head or neck area.”

The penalty for a violation of this new rule is 15 yards, and if the foul is on the defensive side of ball, it is an automatic first down with the player eligible to be ejected from the game.

With this new rule in the NFL, what does it mean for Northwest and the high school level?

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) governs high school football in Kansas, along with most American high schools. The NFHS has made changes to make the high school level safer for its players by outlawing plays that are “initiating contact with the helmet” and “taking aim and initiating contact with an opponent above the shoulders,” as stated in the 2014 targeting rule. Along with the 2014 targeting rule, the NFHS also outlawed blindside blocks, blocking a player who is not looking, before the 2017 season.

This is a trickle-down affect, but the lower levels of youth, high school and college football are leading the way in effectiveness of their rules. The NFL is feeling pressure to do something with concussion research and lawsuits that they are throwing out ridiculous, unclear rules that are doing nothing.

With high school proving to be more effective on their new rules, why isn’t the NFL taking a page out of the high school playbook?

With high school’s rule changes making a difference, BVNW Head Football Coach, Clint Rider said “the education from a coaching side has gotten better, and that’s allowed us to use different tackling techniques to help make the game safer [at the high school level]. I think it should be coming more from the coaching side, even players are getting very frustrated with the way [the new NFL rule] is legislated.”

The NFL should not be throwing out these drastic rule changes to where the game can be different from what it is intended to be.

If you want to make the game safer, it has to go through the coaches and the way they teach and coach their players to tackle. That is the only effective way to make the game safer, without ruining the game and what it is intended to be for the fans and players.

The NFL commissioner- Roger Goodell- says nothing, stands for nothing, does nothing, waiting for the bad news to blow over. The only reason Goodell and the league have made rule changes on helmets is because of the concussion lawsuits against them. He doesn’t do anything real, unless he is sued or pressured because all he tries to do is keep all 32 franchise owners happy with cash flow. Goodell is like the deer in the middle of the road hoping to not be hit and has proved to be a true figurehead of the NFL commissioner role.  

It is time for Goodell to get up and actually do something for once before it is too late to save the players and the league.  

High school football has it right in what they’re doing; it’s time for the NFL to do the same thing to improve their league.