The NFL is the biggest sport in the world and is enjoying unrivaled success, so it’s naturally mulling a significant rule change.
As recently as a year ago, the competition committee kicked around the idea of a bigger field, CFL style. And this wasn’t the first time the committee has broached the subject. Perhaps the committee will broach the subject again when it meets in Indianapolis in advance of the combine.
The Canadian field is 195 feet wide, compared to the 160 foot wide NFL field. The CFL field also is 30 yards longer, but the widening of the field is what really could impact safety regarding head injuries.
“I’m not so sure we shouldn’t think about widening the field,” former competition committee member Bill Polian said. “It’s a radical idea, but I think it’s worth thinking about. You would have more space and perhaps a safer game. I say that based on my CFL experience. There are less collisions of that type in the Canadian game.”
That’s right, blame Canada.
A wider field would theoretically increase scoring and significantly impact defensive strategy.
Some believe NFL players have outgrown their field, which is part of the problem with head injuries. CFL-sized fields also may encourage faster, more athletic, and smaller players because covering ground would become a more valued asset.
A potential problem with wider fields is some stadiums might not be able to easily accommodate them. It depends how much the field would be widened. Polian believes extending the field to the white border would not be a problem anywhere.
A less drastic measure could be to widen the hash marks as they are in college fields. The competition committee has discussed this as well. But the affect may be minimal.
Good idea? Bad idea? Idea that will never happen?
[H/T: National Football Post]