This past Sunday, the Bucaneers and Giants made waves when first-year head coach of the Bucaneers Greg Schiano (formerly the coach at Rutgers) had his defense knock the offensive line back into Eli Manning when he was taking a knee, setting off the volcano that resides in Tom Coughlin's belly.
So they griped during the handshake and Coughlin sneered and Schiano stood his ground, saying that he was simply instructing his players to play until the final whistle.
Cliche as this may sound, Schiano had a point. I played sports as a kid and as any kid or high school athlete will tell you, no coach has instructed me or any other athlete to give up or quit trying ever.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones weighed in with his input ( as he does with most things NFL) later on that day saying that the kneel down should be eliminated from the pro game entirely. Jones (who might be a better PR man than NFL owner depending on what week it is) felt it took away from the fan experience of coming to the game.
Games he charges more for than any owner in the league.
While Jones might have had some crazy views and ideas in the past, this one is at least worth thinking about.
Nothing grows without change. Just think if offensive teams were forced to play all the way to the whistle while trying to run out the clock. It would create an extra level of excitement to the end of the game the kneel down has admittedly watered down.
Sunday's incident forced us to think about a situation that none of us had really had to think about before. To my knowledge, it had never happened.
At the very least, the NFL should look at a point/time remaining threshold. If a team is up by up to 13 points with two minutes left, make the rule where they have to play it out. If the lead is 14 or more, allow them to kneel the ball, but have the risk that the defense can try to make a play like Schiano's Bucs did this past Sunday.
Coughlin talked about an etiquette of the game at this level and a general understanding. Well if this was still the league that Tom Coughlin thought it was 10 years ago, he needs to check his prescription. The league has changed and everyone is starting to push the envelope until they know they can't anymore.
At the end of the day, the NFL might make for an even more exciting league. The rule changes I spoke about above, wouldn't affect every game, but I could see a couple games each week being made more exciting because of it.
It's time for the kneel down to bow out.
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