This has nothing to do with making the sport safer. Football is a contact sport where big, heavy, strong, fast athletes wearing suits of armor collide to stop opposing players.
As long as all those ingredients remain, the contest will remain physically dangerous.
I’m writing about changing some rules to speed up the contest, penalize properly infractions and hold players, coaches and officials accountable.
A touchdown would remain 6 points but there would be no Point After Touchdowns (PAT)–either the one or two point variety. That’s a senseless reward for having done what you were supposed to do anyway–score points.
Field goals would be remain 3points from distances of zero to 40 yard. Then they would be four 4 from 41 to 60 yards. Any field goal more than 61 yards long would be 5 points.
All four plays during an offensive series must be completed within two minutes—that’s a 30-second limit for each play.
The officials could not halt plays to permit the entry or exit of either offensive or defensive players. It’s the responsibility of the teams to get players on and off the field quickly—even if one or both teams employ a fast offense.
Official reviews would have to be completed within 60 seconds after viewing the play in question from the same 4 video angles that TV viewers see. Failure to complete the official review on time would automatically reverse the ruling on the field.
No review decisions would await action from arbiters sitting in remote viewing locations. That’s a waste of time.
Each team would be permitted one challenge per half to a decision made by officials.
The challenging team would be charged with a time out for the challenge—win or lose. Each team would have 3 timeouts per half.
Game delays of more than 2 total hours due to bad weather will force the cancelation of the contest. The two teams will be permitted to play a makeup game at the conclusion of the regular season if both teams agree. If they do not, either team is permitted to schedule a game with another team in order to complete a 12-game season. But the first choice for the makeup game must be offered to the original two schools.
Players penalized and ejected for any violation would be escorted from the field. They would not be permitted to play in the next game. Any ejected player who makes any physical gesture when leaving the game will not be permitted to play in the next 2 games and his school will be fined $10,000.
The team without the ejected player will be forced to play the remainder of the half minus either one offensive or one defensive player.
Any post-score celebration that results in an unsportsmanlike penalty will cause that team to have 1 point deducted from the score.
The current college overtime structure works and the professional teams should adopt it too.
Football can be an exciting, entertaining game. But it can be improved.
The suggestions here will do nothing to end the systemic, endemic corruption of college and professional football. But these changes will at least make the individual games better.