Today is the day when NFL teams submit proposed rule changes to be debated at next week’s owners meeting, and the Baltimore Ravens have come in with the silliest proposal.
Baltimore wants to change the eligible receiver rules so that when a normally ineligible receiver, such as an offensive lineman, wants to declare himself eligible, he would have to don a pinnie over his jersey.
The current rule simply requires linemen to check in with referees before the play and declare themselves eligible, but the Ravens don’t think that’s good enough. This is probably because they have been previously owned by the Patriots’ gaming of the eligible/ineligible receiver rules, and they are tired of getting owned. They’ve also had their own trickery undermined by bad referees failing to declare one of their linemen as an eligible receiver.
I suppose the proposed rule change would help solve these problems, but asking linemen to run to the sideline, squeeze themselves into a pinnie, and then run back to the huddle in time to get the play off seems impractical. Although the idea of a crucial drive being short-circuited because some flustered equipment manager couldn’t wrestle a pinnie onto a 350-pound man fast enough does sound appealing, from a purely comedic standpoint.