My annual thread that comes mid-season when a lot of teams are fed up with one call or another. Please feel free to comment. 1. Instant Replay by Majority. Probably the most discouraging fact is that refs are still swayed by emotion, and judging a close call is often too much burden to put on one person, who will then need to announce to 75,000 screaming fans that the home team will suffer. The solution is simple. Put 5 officials in a booth upstairs and give them access to all the angles. When a coach challenges a call, a vote at least 3-2 is needed on whether or not to uphold the challenge. The beauty of this is that the on-field officials never have to face the fear of the crowds or coaches, and no one will ever know what the vote was, or who voted which way... only the final result is announced by a referee who did not actually affect the outcome of the call. If a 60% majority is needed, how many botched calls will you see during a season? Not many. 2. Two different Pass Interference Penalties. How many times does a defense played great, only to lose 45 yards on a questionable PI call? Passing is already dominating the NFL, and refs have a tough time explaining why one defender is guilty of the foul and one is not. A pass interference call should be a 5-10 yard infraction, unless it is blatant, in which case it could be called something like "pass obstruction" and result in a spot-of-the-foul. Simply put, pass interference gives too much power to one ref to swing the game because a defender tripped or barely touched a receiver. By making two separate penalties, the offense cannot be bailed out as often, as refs would have to face criticism for a spot-of-the-foul penalty that is not blatant. 3. The Overtime Rule. Both coaches have a "silent bidding" in which they each hand a piece of paper to the ref. The paper states the distance they are willing to attempt a field goal. The coach who is willing to kick from a further distance gets his kicker on the field. If the kick goes in, the kicking team gets the ball first. If the kick misses, the defending team gets the ball first. Now we're looking at some real mind games and some real drama. Disclaimer: This was probably not an original idea. I think I heard it or read it somewhere but I can't remember where. Seems like a great idea... but it would be stupid to decide the game on a single field goal, and it should just determine who gets the ball first. Also, the college football rules are the worst; the team getting the ball last has a gigantic advantage much more unfair than the NFL Overtime rules right now. 4. The Overtime Rule, part II. It rarely happens, but why not just eliminate a tie from the books and allow the overtime to flow without a game clock? I don't see any teams playing until the end of eternity in an infinite deadlock. Do you? 5. Taunting. What exactly is this penalty? I saw Brandon Meriweather get tagged for it against Denver. That's funny because all around the league you see a bunch of hotheaded idiots celebrate after every play while getting in the other team's face. Can anyone really watch a Jets game and not flag about 55 plays that were more obnoxious than Meriweather's fist pump? Just get rid of the stupid rule or enforce it all the time. Don't wait until a huge situation occurs and then cite this arcane rule. And by the way, why is an end zone celebration always the one that gets flagged? I'd much rather see players celebrating when the clock is stopped than when it's running. 6. Half the Distance to the Goal. This rule makes sense, why? You have the ball on your own 10-yard line and get flagged for holding. Why do you have the ball at your 5-yard line instead of your 1-yard line? I'd like to know because, suppose you have the ball at the other team's 1-yard line. Now you get flagged for holding. The holding call costs you 10 yards rather than 5. Isn't a holding call supposed to be a 10 yard penalty? Absolutely senseless. The only time this should apply is when you already have the ball at your own 1, and even then a loss of down should be considered, even if the penalty is before the snap. 7. Face guarding/ Obstruction of the Ball. I'm not even sure if this is a rule anymore, but I remember it was called against the Pats in the 06-07 AFCCG. Receivers not only can't be touched after the magical five yard mark, but also they cannot have their eyesight impaired, so you'd better give them a five yard cushion Don't want to force the receiver to shift his eyes to look between two of your fingers. Seriously... let's let the defense do their job and try to prevent yardage. 8. The "Brady" Rule. Ironically Tom Brady gets stuck with the unfair reputation of creating this rule. He didn't. I do remember a Hall of Fame quarterback lobbying for the competition committee to change some rules, but that wasn't Tom Brady. It's also funny that Brady was ridiculed for "lobbying" for a flag after a questionable hit after the throw. Guys, I have the NFL Sunday Ticket and I watch a lot of football. If players aren't whining after virtually every call, I'm going to call DirecTV because clearly there's a broadcast problem. Anyway, the "Brady" Rule HAS gotten out of hand. If a defender is already in motion towards the quarterback, he can no longer hold back. Usually a dirty or excessive hit is obvious... now refs are trying to call it based on a formula. Another reason for about 15 quarterbacks having QB ratings over 90 this season. This may be another dual penalty situation, where there could be both 5-yard and 15-yard infractions based on the severity. 9. Premature Suspensions. Yes, I'm going there. Players like Bart Scott should be fined and suspended for saying they want to injure another player. Joey Porter as well. Bottom line is, it makes football look really bad. You have all these penalties and rules in place and the sportsmanship and integrity of the game goes right out the window. Really good message to send to kids and fans, Bart Scott, you should be really proud of your idiocy. 10. Spying. Spying on other teams should definitely be legal, especially if you hire a guy off the street and pretend he's taping something else. Just kidding. Just wanted to point out that the Patriots are 33-8 since they were "exposed" that fateful Sunday at the Meadowlands (and 4-1 since they were "exposed" again at the Meadowlands this season.) Eric Mangini doesn't have to worry anymore about teams trying to steal his signals, his plays, his gameplans, his players, or anything else that he is keeping secret.