By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — A list of 11 NFL rule proposals was made public on Thursday, all of which focused on various elements of the game. Some would involve significant changes to the sport — like a proposal for a 7:30 minute overtime period that eliminates all sudden death elements.READ MORE: 2 Million People Now Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 In Massachusetts
Other proposals will have almost no impact on the actual gameplay, but are nevertheless fun. This would be one such rule.
It comes via the Kansas City Chiefs, who proposed a major overhaul to the system of assigning jersey numbers by position.
Currently, running backs can only choose jersey numbers between 20 and 49, while wide receivers can only choose numbers either between 10 and 19 or 80 and 89.
The new rule change proposal would allow receivers and running backs to select any number from 1-49, as well as 80-89.
It would also open up all numbers from 1-49 for linebackers, who would continue to have numbers 90-99 available to them.
Most notable is the freeing up of the single-digit and teen numbers for running backs, wide receivers, and linebackers. The collegiate game is filled with those players sporting a single digit on their chests, so it would likely be a popular practice if adopted by the NFL.
Tight ends — who are currently limited to 40-49 or 80-89, would also get in on that Nos. 1-49 fun.
The proposal would make no change to the numbers available for quarterbacks, punters, kickers, of defensive linemen. It would open up all numbers 50-79 to all offensive linemen, rather than distinguishing by position.
The intended effect, per the proposal, would be that it “expands jersey number options for certain positions.” The stated reason for the desired change is “flexibility in assigning jersey numbers.”
That, though, just sounds like an official way to say that … receivers and running backs sporting single-digit jersey numbers is extremely cool. (Linebackers in single-digits? Kind of cool. Defensive backs getting an expanded pool of jersey numbers? Meh, could take it or leave it.)
One player who seemed to like the idea was Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower:READ MORE: Camp Harbor View Provides A Place Of Discovery For Boston Kids
— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) April 1, 2021
Hightower wore No. 30 when he played at Alabama. Frankly speaking, No. 30 is not particularly swaggy on its surface, but one supposes that is a subjective matter.
It’s objectively quite swaggy to have more single-digit players on the field who aren’t punters.
Which Sony Michel is swaggier? Do I need to even ask?
Which version of Chase Young is more imposing?
OK, the answer there is “both.” But still — the swag! It’s undeniable.
And, look at poor Stefon Diggs.
That man needs to wear No. 1! Do you know who wore No. 1 for the Bills instead of Diggs? Nobody did! What are we doing here, people? Give the cool guys some cool numbers and let’s move on with our lives.
And considering there’s no real reason to restrict the skill players from wearing those numbers, and considering the NFL could/would make a bundle of dollars by selling more jerseys, it feels like something that should get the approval of the owners.MORE NEWS: Car Fire In Millis Extends To Auto Body Repair Shop
That is … if they want to be cool.