Some Rules are More Equal Than Others
Ever notice that when the NFL creates a rule on behalf of a Steeler it restricts the game and the Steelers' style of evolved play whereas certain other teams benefit from other rules because they cannot play up to the standards of the current game? Here are some facts from Wikipedia to back up my theory:
1. Mel Blount rule -- Officially known as illegal use of hands, defensive backs can only make contact with receivers within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Enacted in current form in 1978.
2. Hines Ward rule -- The blocking rule makes illegal a blindside block if it comes from the blocker's helmet, forearm or shoulder and lands to the head or neck area of the defender.
3. Bill Belichick rule -- two defensive players, one primary and one backup, will have a radio device in their helmets allowing the head coach to communicate with them through the radio headset, identical to the radio device inside the helmet of the quarterback. This proposal was defeated in previous years, but was finally enacted in 2008 as a result of Spygate. This rule is the only rule named after a head coach.
4. Tuck Rule Game (January 19, 2002, Oakland Raiders vs. New England Patriots, AFC Divisional Playoff Game)
This is also known as Snowjob for Raiders fans, and as the Snow Bowl for Patriots fans. With less than two minutes to play in regulation, the Patriots trailed the Raiders, 13-10, in a game played mostly under a driving snowstorm. Oakland defensive back Charles Woodson blitzed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and sacked him, causing what appeared to be a fumble. The ball was recovered by the Raiders' Greg Biekert at the Oakland 42-yard-line. When referee Walt Coleman reviewed the play, he ruled it an incomplete pass because of the Tuck Rule (NFL Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2, Note 2) which states that "even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body" it is still a forward pass. The Patriots retained possession, and later tied the game on a dramatic, 45 yard Adam Vinatieri field goal that barely cleared the crossbar with 27 seconds left in regulation — regarded as one of the greatest kicks of all time, given the conditions. They won the game in overtime on a 23-yard field goal. The rule had been addressed as correct after the season, and has not been altered.
5. Tom Brady rule --Prohibits a defender on the ground from lunging or diving at a quarterback's legs unless that defender has been blocked or fouled into the signal-caller. Enacted after safety Bernard Pollard, on the ground, sacked Brady and injured Brady's MCL and ACL, which sidelined him for the rest of the 2008 season.