In a bizarre move in sports today, the NFL announced that starting in the 2015 season, the sport will incorporate a ‘penalty box’ for players who are flagged for fighting or other infractions during gameplay. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the change to a group of players, coaches, and sports writers in a closed conference Tuesday morning.
“As all fans of the NFL and football in general know, we are the laughingstock of the sports world. For years we have tried to portray ourselves as hardcore athletes, the best of the best, all the while knowing that our players generally don’t have to run for more than 20 feet at a time, and that plays usually don’t last for more than 45 seconds before action is stopped, and the players stand around doing nothing.” Goodell said, with signs of tears forming. “Our boys play anywhere from 17 to 19 times a year, and that’s it. We need to toughen them up. So it is with this in mind, that we have instituted some changes to our calendars, and to our policies.”
Goodell went on to explain that fighting would now be just a short, 5-minute stint in the penalty box, and it would be encouraged by coaches during gameplay.
“We know that the NHL leads the way in real tough-guy sports. They fight, they punch, they’ve even stabbed each other with their skates – and all they get is a couple of minutes in a box. A box where they can gloat and cheer and get the fans behind them. That’s what we need in the NFL. Understandably, this is a big change from our current standing on the matter, where a player who fights on the field could be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly even released from their team and their contract. But damnit, this is the NFL, and we’re supposed to be MEN here!” Goodall bellowed to those in attendance.
He continued by saying that all stadiums were going to be required to build boxes on either side of the field, in a 7′x7′ area. The box is to be encased in plexiglass, and players should definitely punch, headbutt, and bang on it as often as possible when sent to the box during a game.
Players commented after the conference, stating that it was a great idea and a nice change to the game.
“It’s about time this sport toughened up a bit. This is definitely going to make this game more of the bloodsport that it always portrayed itself as, but could never really be because of stupid rules,” said a player for the Denver Broncos who wished to remain anonymous. “I can’t wait to get out there and crack some f—— heads.”
The new changes also included a more expanded season calendar, which has teams playing from the beginning of August and end in March, with each team playing at least 5 times a week, for a total of 150 games per team, not including post-season games.
During the questioning period after the announcement, Goodell was asked about the possibility of these new rule and schedule changes increasing the already terrifying statistics of brain injury and concussions associated with professional football.
“Yeah, probably,” he said. “But damn if it won’t be a better game to watch now, huh?”