In early April, the Kansas City Chiefs proposed a rule that would loosen NFL jersey number restrictions. Yesterday, NFL owners approved that change and a few others for the 2021 NFL season.
Choose Your Own Adventure Blog: You can catch up on all of the new rule changes for 2021 here on your favorite niche blog in the bold and italicized text below or scroll til you see standard text face to reach the meat and potatoes of this post.
NFL fans, get ready for a trove of jersey number change fun.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that NFL owners approved the proposal on changes to jersey numbers, per sources informed of the situation.
The proposal, submitted by the Kansas City Chiefs, adjusted the restrictions on who can wear which jersey numbers. Specifically, the approval unlocks the number of players eligible to wear single-digit numbers, which had previously been relegated to QBs, kickers and punters.
The expanded jerseys will allow running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, H-backs and wide receivers to wear numbers 1-49 and 80-89; defensive backs can choose from 1-49; linebackers 1-59 and 90-99; offensive linemen 50-79; and defensive linemen 50-79 and 90-99. QBs, kickers and punters will remain in 1-19.
Expanded practice squads due to the COVID-19 led to some number issues for certain clubs last year, precipitating the number use change.
A plethora of players could look to change numbers, particularly skill position players and defensive backs who might move to single-digit numbers they wore in college or younger years.
Other issues undertaken by the clubs during Wednesday's meeting, per Pelissero:
I personally love this move, but you already knew that from reading my previous blog. We really only need the number rule in place for eligible vs ineligible receivers. That serves a purpose for not only the QB but officials as well. As for everything else, I say, let the players express themselves. It's a fucking GAME.
Unfortunately, as society attempts to get more fluid and free of arbitrary restrictions used to control us, there are still plenty of people who hate change and want to hold on to the old days of Free Safetys wearing #20-49 and girls not be allowed to wear pants.
Tom Brady does NOT think the NFL's new number rule is a good idea. He think it's going to lead to bad football because players won't know who to block!
This next post reads a lot like anti-LGBTQ+ marriage equality rhetoric...what are you so upset about, Tommy? This isn't ruining the sanctity of football. I feel like he definitely had something else typed before posting since "let" is capitalized (Detective Dozo). "What kind of door are these number changes opening??? What's next some DL bro wants to marry a horse?"
I've never seen Brady so vocal about something on social media before. He kept pretty quiet during a witch hunt about PSI but, a CB wearing #8 is where he draws his line!
Sure, Brady is in great physical shape from all his pliability and avocado ice cream bull shit, but mentally, could 43-year-old Tom Brady just be getting forgetful with his increased age? Is he worried this rule change will expose him? Are numbers going to make him fall off the cliff like it's Price Is Right?
Brady has been bragging about how his age and experience have him ready for everything a defense can throw at him since AT LEAST 2017. (via: CBS sports)
“You can’t surprise me on defense. I’ve seen it all. I’ve processed 261 games, I’ve played them all,” Brady said. “It’s an incredibly hard sport, but because the processes are right and are in place, for anyone with experience in their job, it’s not as hard as it used to be. There was a time when quarterbacking was really hard for me because you didn’t know what to do. Now I really know what to do, I don’t want to stop now. This is when it’s really enjoyable to go out.”
But new jersey numbers are the end of the world? It doesn't add up.
Is Brady like someone who is sort of illiterate and just memorized a bunch of words but can't actually read? (definitely not talking about myself here) After 20+ years in the league, can Brady not identify the Mike linebacker without a 5 in the first digit giving it away? This guy has been a starting NFL QB since 2001, so maybe he's forgotten that college football has followed these loosened number rules for generations? SEC Teams still knew they had to block Jadeveon Clowney in college even though he was #7. Maybe that's why Brady's Michigan Wolverines allowed the most famous tackle in non-BCS/playoff bowl history?
Sure he's adapted and changed with the game over the last two decades, but Brady has been shouting out "54's the Mike" since before the Houston Texans existed. He's been bragging that he has "the answers to the test" for YEARS, and now when he's only got one to six years left, someone's out here changing shit? I guess I'd be mad too with change so late in my career, but based on how smart you are and how much football you've seen, I'd hope jersey numbers weren't the only way you could differentiate between a safety or linebacker.
Is it a little inconvenient for the offense? I guess, but literally, every rule in football except for a safety through the end zone resulting in a touchback favors the offense; tough titties, Tommy boy! Take 25 minutes during a meeting at training camp to go over the changes. If you're this worried about jersey numbers ruining your offense and football in general, I think that says a lot more about the intellectual capacities of your teammates, coaches, and opponents across the league. Have some faith in your NFL brethren; they can handle this! Numbers aren't even changing for defensive linemen. Just remember what my o-line coach and every o-line coach has been saying for 60+ years since Paul Brown invented assistant coaches, "gap, down, backer." If college players can figure it out with non-50s linebackers, I think the pros can too. It's going to be okay, Tom. Way to make yourself look 78 years old.
This entire thing is about making more money disguised as player empowerment. New numbers = new jerseys fans want to buy and the NFL is totally fine with that....just as long as the player switching his number covers the cost of all his old jerseys.
Tom Brady already publicly shamed me at training camp in 2003, denying my autograph request in front of my best friend and hundreds of screaming fans, so I'm pretty sure he doesn't care what an anxiety ridden blogger has to say, but bro shit like this is why people fucking hate you. It isn't the plastic surgery, diet cult, or two decades of domination; it's the complaining. This is some cry-baby nonsense. Way worse than anything on the field. You're just mad it's going to make your job that you're still the best in the world at a tad more difficult when you're going to be done in a few years. It's like old people voting against the Green New Deal. And yes, of course, I know nobody will care about this story in like four hours but saying this will ruin football is lunacy. I still love you, man. Ole Dozo is just trying to help while hopefully making some strangers on the internet laugh.
Semi-rare TRIPLE P.S.
Brady just tweeted this out as I posted this blog for my 100+ followers to see. Glad to see he's got a little sense of humor about this whole thing.