How many times a day do you watch television and just say, “really” to some of the most ridiculous rules that the NFL has in place? While many of the rules the NFL puts into place make sense, some of them are just so ridiculous. The NFL really makes sure that the media gets as much of an opportunity to broadcast everything that goes on in the NFL from training camp to the preseason all the way through the rest of the season. As some rules are more ridiculous than others, some of these rules make just confuse you that they need to be in place, while others you are confused as to why it really matters.
The NFL has always been known for having some crazy rules. On the field, we have some ridiculous rules that involve celebrations and The ‘Calvin Johnson Rule’, while off the field we have some other weird ones. These players have more freedom off the field than you think when it comes to their dress code for interviews and what not, but some of these other rules are just plain insane. Who knows if the NFL will keep a lot of these rules in place, or the if the NFL will crack down even harder on these players and teams.
15. If Two Teams Have A Practice Together, Media Must Be Able To Cover
This one isn’t super serious, but it shouldn’t really matter that much. Whenever there is a joint practice between two teams during the preseason, the media has to have full access of what’s going on. Sometimes these practices can get a little rowdy as they’re usually more intense than a regular practice, and there’s guys who are going up against each other who don’t go head to head on a daily basis basis.
This rule just doesn’t really make sense why it’s there. It should just be open if the media wants to come, but shouldn’t have that label that they need to have access to the practice. Although the media probably loves this because they finally get a live look at some of the best players, the rule is just kind of pointless.
14. The Ridiculous Uniform Rules
The NFL has a ridiculously long uniform policy. Their policy on shoes is explained in a 400-word paragraph, which is roughly the same amount as the MLB’s entire uniform policy. Players are given fines for the most obscure uniform ‘violations’ you could think of. The league even has a lengthy description on how stockings should be worn: “The stockings worn by players must be white from the top of the shoe to mid-calf and an approved team color from mid-calf to the bottom of the pant leg, which is pulled down below the knee.”
Some ridiculous fines over the years include Frank Gore being fined $10,000 for wearing his socks too low, Brandon Marhsall being fined five grand for wearing green cleats and DeAngelo Williams was fined over $5,000 for writing “Find The Cure” in his eye black in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. The NFL claims it cares about finding a cure for cancer, but a player can’t express their own message? Seems very hypocritical.
13. Head Coaches Must Always Be Available For Interviews
NFL head coaches do a lot for what they get paid, but having to interview whenever? That’s a bit much. Now, no NFL head coach interviews all the time, but the fact that could be a possibility is crazy. Like players, head coaches should have a designated day that they don’t have to deal with the media. It’s understandable that they are basically the representative of the team, but everyone needs at least one day to just kick it back and relax.
These head coaches have a lot to do besides dealing with the media, like all of us, they deserve some time to just relax and not have to deal with cameras in their faces at all times. This rule is good that they should be able to be contacted to interview most days, but should at least be able to have one day off to relax. Plus, who really wants to talk to Bill Belichick every day?
12. Every Player And Coach Must Be Available During Training Camp
Picture a full summer where you have to be able to report to the media at any time of the day while you’re on the job. It’s absolutely insane. Many times, there’s really not that much interesting things going on in training camp that there is a need to have to availability at all times for players and coaches. This rule also could make it really annoying for these people who have to be interviewed, as they could end up being interviewed for some of the most pointless things. This rule can basically let the media bug your star players every day throughout training camp, as well as your head coach. There should be less days to be interviewed during training camp opposed to the regular season, because not as much is going on.
11. Players Can’t Spread Their Own Message, Even When Everyone Agrees With It
The NFL loves to paint itself as a patriotic league and that’s all well and good. However, the NFL only seems to want to display patriotism on their own terms and any time an NFL player wants to do it their way, the league shuts them down. Take for instance honoring 9/11 victims and first responders. If any fan heard a player wanted to honor those affected by 9/11 they’d be up for it right? Well, apparently the NFL isn’t if the cleats don’t follow regulations. Last year, Titans linebacker Avery Williamson had special cleats made that had stripes, stars, and the words “Never Forget” on the back. However NFL rules said he could only wear the cleats if he taped them up to match his uniform color. Williamson then decided to auction the cleats to charity.
10. If Player Is Charged Or Arrested With Violent/Threatening Conduct, Must Go Through Clinical Evaluation
The NFL really makes sure that their players are in good care. But this one is pretty interesting and weird. If there are players that are arrested or accused under these circumstances, they have to go through a clinical evaluation. The evaluation deals with the state of mind that they may be in and their intent. What’s crazy, is that these players don’t even have to pay for the evaluation. That’s right, the NFL takes care of this evaluation for whenever it happens. It’s crazy to think that someone could do something wrong, yet the NFL will take care of the costs to see where the mind is at of some of these accused. This rule is a bit whacky, and interesting that the NFL does what it can to look deeper into a dark situation.
9. Players Cannot Distribute Alcohol
This rule is pretty loose, and doesn’t really explain the extent of it. This rule basically says that no NFL player can give out alcohol to anyone. Well, that means that these players cannot open up bars or restaurants and serve alcohol, if you want to go by the exact rule. It also means that these players shouldn’t give away alcohol at any events, which many of these players host clubbing nights and what not. This rule is pretty dumb, and makes no sense. If players want to go out and give out alcohol to whoever, they should be able to do so without a rule saying they can’t. And if they want to sell alcohol at a restaurant or something, so be it.
8. The NFL’s Investigation Is Above The Law
The NFL Personal Conduct Policy basically tells all the rules of being a NFL player, but dealing with stuff off the field. A lot of the stuff is pretty straight forward, although some of the clauses can be quite weird. This rule is one of those rules that just shouldn’t be a thing.
The NFL can basically investigate any player, if they’re believed to be violating these policies. It’s ridiculous because sometimes players actually get in trouble, even though they’re proven innocent within the law. It’s not fair to some of these players because when they “investigate” they sometimes claim that they have evidence, that for some reason they won’t reveal to the public. This happened with the Ezekiel Elliott case, where Zeke is now being suspended six games due to things that he was proven innocent for. If the law feels that something is going on, that is when the NFL should have the right to get involved.
7. Player Name/Numbers Must Be Left On Locker During Interviews
You would think that when interviewing a player, the media would know the player’s name and jersey number when interviewing them. It seems that the media has become too lazy in some instances, and this rule proves how the media has become lazy. It could be seen as keeping up appearances, and the locker room perhaps looks nicer when all the players numbers and names are on their lockers, but it shouldn’t be used so the media knows who they’re talking to. If they really want information about a certain topic with that player, they should be able to simply ask for the name and number before the interview starts. Maybe it prevents confusion in case some interviewers forget, but this rule just shows pure laziness on the side of the media.
6. Home Team Must Hide Player’s Showers While Allowing View At Lockers During Interviews
This rule is one of the funnier ones to see on the rule book. Who would ever think that there would be a legitimate rule that the showers have to be covered up before an interview can start? It makes sense as it can be disturbing for parts of the media, as it also wouldn’t be the appropriate picture to show on national television. But it’s just something to laugh at thinking that this is a rule that the home team has to follow for every postgame interview that is conducted after the game completes.
This rule seems more like a common-sense thing, and if not, it leaves for a good joke to show on national television. It seems that the NFL really wants to have the best possible picture for their viewers, and a shower would be way too disturbing for an adult to watch during the postgame show.
5. Players Must Conduct In 45 Minutes Worth Of Interviews In Normal Practice Weeks
So, a normal practice week for NFL players would consist of Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday practicing. Tuesday is their day off, which means that these players do not have to see the media that day of the week. And then Saturdays are usually traveling days and Sundays are game days so there are different rules and regulations for those days. This 45-minute time span is not per player, it’s for the players on the team. That means that collectively, the players of each team have to interview for at least 45 minutes per practice day. This can all be done by one player, or it can be done by the whole team. These rules also may change for the postseason and Super Bowl, as this rule pertains to during the regular season where a game would be played on a Sunday.
4. Head Coach And One Star Player Must Be Available To Media Immediately
This rule is fairly loose, and can be chaotic. But, this is what it means to be a star in the NFL. Every time you watch a NFL game, the first interviews you typically see are from players who made a big impact on that game, as well as the head coach. The loose part about this rule is, which players are considered a star? One week it can be a starting quarterback, and the following week it could be the kicker. It’s really hard to know if it’s your job to be interviewed right away or not, so you’re kind of on your toes once the game ends. For some positions, like the quarterback, running back and wide receiver, you may already expect an interview to be coming up right after the game. But for a no name player, when you find out that you have an interview five minutes after game time, it may catch you off guard.
3. Players Can’t Display Their Sponsors
Richard Sherman has been one of the most outspoken players of this generation and he’s never shy about pointing to the league’s hypocrisy. After teammate Marshawn Lynch was fined over $100,000 for not speaking to the media back in 2014, Sherman held a mock press conference with a cardboard cutout of teammate Doug Baldwin and pointed out some ridiculous rules. One of them is that the league doesn’t let players have any alcohol brand sponsors, but “yet a beer sponsor is their biggest sponsor.”
Lynch also weighed in on the matter, saying that Beats by Dre pays him to talk, “But the league doesn’t let me say anything about them,” he said. The NFL seems to want everything their way and it seems to be run like a dictatorship at times.
2. Players Numbers Have To Be Within Their Assigned Position Selection
So, when players get their jersey number, they actually can only be assigned or choose a number that is within their position. The following is how the position selection goes: quarterbacks, punters and kickers can select numbers between 1-19. running backs and defensive backs (that includes safeties), can choose numbers between 20-49. Centers typically select numbers between 50-59, but can go up to 79 if those numbers have already been selected. Other offensive linemen chooses 60-79, but tight ends can pick between 80-89. Defensive lineman chooses from 60-79, or 90-99. Linebackers pick from 50-59, or 90-99. And then lastly, wide receivers select between 80-89, or 10-19.
The whole concept is pretty weird, and interesting that someone actually decided to come up with this rule. This rule simply cannot be broken, but it’s such a rule that you just go with because there’s absolutely no good explanation. It’s the only league where numbers are based on position.
1. Protect The Shield
This one can be really hard for some players. Players are supposed to protect the integrity of the NFL, which means keeping the NFL on a pedestal pretty much. As that has changed as many players disagree with some of the rules, the rule is still tried to keep as much in place as possible. A player actually wrote anonymously about all different things that happen in the NFL, and how some games are even rigged for more viewers. This would be going against the integrity of the NFL, and probably costing this player’s job.
Richie Incognito openly spoke about things that were happening in the NFL and how it mentally affected him. This issue actually led him to being jobless for a little bit. With the NFL it’s almost like you have to put your beliefs to the side, and do what’s best to make the NFL look good.
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