Ask any former NFL defender and you’ll likely get the same answer to the question: is today’s National Football League tilted in the favor of the offense? (Hint: That answer would be ‘yes.’)
Whether the new rules designed to protect the quarterback--which have actually been criticized at length by former quarterback Troy Aikman, whose career ended in great part due to concussions--or the seemingly increasing difficulty of laying a hit on a receiver without drawing a flag, it does seem that it’s getting harder to play defense here in the 21st century.
And whether based on health concerns or greater revenue stemming from higher scores (it’s almost certainly both), these rules cause some players on the defensive side of the ball, including Dallas’s Keith Brooking, to wonder.
It should be noted that the following quotes were not made maliciously or contentiously, but rather, seem to be a player stating the facts as he sees them.
“Obviously, I am biased, but when you look at our league and the amount of penalties called on defensive guys compared to offensive guys...” Brooking said, adding, “I think the fans want to see scoring. I think the league knows that.”
Indeed. Fans buy the tickets, fans buy the merchandise and fans love scoring. We all do. Brooking understands this, and believes, then, that if there is an offensive tilt, it was brought upon by (a) the fans inevitable love of offense and (b) the league’s obligation to keep the fans happy--which is to say, it was a natural development.
“It becomes very attractive when that’s the case, when you have a lot of great plays offensively,” Brooking continued. “Look out here. We're out here at practice, we can intercept five balls in a practice and they boo us ... They catch 1 20-yard pass and this place erupts. That's part of it.”
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