You know people like to say “better late than never”? This isn't for those people. This is for those of us that have been harboring resentment at NFL officials
pretty much since the beginning of time since January 15th, 2017.
You see it was on that day, with 5:55 left in the first quarter and the Cowboys trailing the Packers 3-7, that the NFL flexed their long arm of stupidity once again. Cowboys Wide Receiver Brice Butler was inexcusably charged with an Unsportmanlike Conduct penalty, but don't worry… they've fixed it so that it won't happen to anyone else. Yay.
The “Brice Butler Rule” is about as silly as the one that says you have to wait thirty minutes to swim after eating. I don't care what type of nutritional science backs that other one up, it's dumb alright? Dean Blandino, Worst Judge, Juror, and Executor of NFL rules, oh wait I mean Senior Vice President of Officiating, even went as far as saying that this is a penalty that you don't see very frequently when discussing the upcoming changes to this monstrosity. No kidding, Dean.
“So there's language in the book that allows for a change in a coaching decision where a player or a group of players may come on the field and there's a change in the decision and they go off the field without participating in a play. We want to maintain a team's ability to do that. So we did discuss it and looked at the language, and we feel comfortable with the referee giving a warning if he feels that the team is trying to manipulate the situation, allowing the defense to match up in that situation and only penalizing if it's a subsequent act after a warning.” per Charean Williams of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram
Apparently now officials are going to be allowed to warn a team of a potential violation of the Brice Butler Rule and ultimately penalize the team after said warning is given. I have two big problems with this personally, one phrase in particular. The phrase “if he feels” was part of the jargon used when this was news was announced by Charean Williams of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.
“If He Feels” Isn't Objective, Rules Are Meant To Be Objective
Why why why are we going with a referee's feelings now? This isn't a This Is Us marathon, this is a world of finite details and parameters. There shouldn't be a subjective line drawn to where the referee is trying to measure a coach and their intentions with substitutions. I know this is minority opinion around Cowboys Nation, but I have no qualms about the Brice Butler Rule… if it's enforced that exact same way all the time.
This whole mess is because Brice Butler supposedly “got into” the huddle, when you can see exactly how far he didn't go in. If there is any change that's necessary in my humble opinion, it needs to be the definition in terms of what's “in the huddle”. If a player enters that the way Brice did, which I don't believe that Brice did (Confused? Read that again.), and is in violation of the set parameters… go ahead and throw your little flag. That's fair.
“If he feels” is opening a can of worms, and we're already trying to mop up the ones that spilled out when Dean Blandino's Dam of Non-Logic broke open once again, coincidentally during a Cowboys/Packers Divisional Playoff Game. Under the new intention of the rule it'll only be a matter of time before a referee throws a flag because he feels that a coach is trying to manipulate the situation via substitution, when he actually isn't.
This isn't hard, NFL. Just don't do dumb things.