Nover’s View: Hit on Gronk

On January 22, 2018, in NFL, by Stephen

I give Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots all the credit in the world for reaching the Super Bowl.

But these new rules designed to aid the offense and make the game supposedly more safe are really ruining my enjoyment of football.

Down 14-3 to the Jaguars, the Patriots scored a touchdown right before the end of the first half. The Patriots were greatly aided by two pass interference calls. One was on Barry Church for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Rob Gronkowski. The other was on a long sideline pass that could not have been caught, Yet Jacksonville was still flagged for pass interference. The Patriots used these penalties to cut the margin to 14-10 at halftime and gain key momentum.

By today’s rules, Church had to be penalized. But what was he supposed to do to make sure Gronkowski didn’t catch the ball. If he hits Gronk low then it’s a penalty, too, plus it’s a cheap shot. So he made what should be – and used to be – the right football play and that was hit the receiver hard and high.

The best cornerback I ever saw was Dick “Night Train” Lane. The best safety was Ronnie Lott. Those two, along with Jack Tatum, were the hardest-hitting defensive backs I ever saw play. Yet all three would have serious problems playing in today’s watered-down, sissified NFL world that has become way too skewed in favor of quarterbacks and offense.

A long drive used to mean something. Now it’s the expected thing when a good quarterback is behind center. The proper balance needs to be restored.


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