A fracas waiting to happen
In the minds of many, those are the stories of a previous chapter of the NFL. This is a more modern era of the NFL, an era where violence is simply not tolerated. And yet, every instance of physical contact in the game, from a block to a tackle, is violent.
It’s an oft-told tale, one of the stories where we like the benefits of a violent-natured game, but disown ourselves from the messy details. From an offensive lineman’s standpoint, facing an incredibly strong and agile defensive lineman is a surefire loss unless you get help from other offensive linemen. But in the midst of the two on one’s, the three on one’s, and the four on one’s, at what point is the line crossed?
When is the line crossed?
Is it okay for an offensive lineman to continue to block seconds after multiple whistles sound? Is it okay for one offensive lineman to hit a defender high while the other hit him low? Is it okay for three offensive linemen to just go after one defender, knowing that thanks to the rules of scrimmage, the quarterback is safe from being tackled?
On the other hand, what about the defensive linemen? Is it okay for the defensive lineman to grab at anything within hands’ reach and use whatever ends up in that grasp as a weapon? We know that defensive linemen can use their hands, while offensive linemen cannot.
The LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals share head coaches who have a genuine friendship. But the two teams, fresh out of competing in Super Bowl LVI, do not.