Copyright by John T. Reed

There are some rules on the books that football officials do not enforce or rarely enforce.

That should not be. Either enforce them or repeal them.

I will list the ones I can think of along with my comments. I hope readers will tell me about others that they have noticed.

Rule John T. Reed comments
aiding the runner It’s prohibited but I see it all the time. I have never seen it called. Today, 12/21/08, in an NFL game, two guys were pushing their own ball carrier forward and the announcers commented on how great the runner was at continuing to drive forward after being hit. Hell, I’m not sure his feet were touching the ground. The rule should be enforced.
ejections the additional penalty of missing the next two games is too sever and results in too little use by officials of the ejection penalty. More players should be ejected so as to reduce the pertinent behavior more.
“frustration” trash talk and pushing and shoving after plays. What you tolerate, you encourage. This will end when the officials require it. The players will continue as long as the officials let them.
hurdling I see it all the time. Never enforced. On 11/7/09, Cal’s Jahvid Best hurdled into the end zone. In mid-air, he was hit in a way that caused him to come down on the back of his head. The game was stopped for a long time as he twitched grotesquely. Severe concussion was the diagnosis. It looked like death by concussion. This is the fault of the officials mostly, coaches second, and Best himself third. They all know it’s against the rules. But we apparently all forgot the incident that inspired the rule. It probably was a play that looked like a lot like Best’s touchdown on 11/8/09. Not against the rules in NFL since 1978.
illegal motion I did not get the memo that says men in motion can, indeed, head toward the line of scrimmage before the snap. Enforce the rule like we did a few years ago.
late hit on ball carrier or receiver in the end zone Late hit is enforced on the sidelines but not in the end zone. The ball is just as dead there as out of bounds. Furthermore, these hits are really punishment for scoring like beaning a batter because his teammate hit a home run. They will start enforcing this when some extreme injury occurs as a result.
late hit on option quarterback after he pitches Everyone knows this is an attempt to injure the quarterback so he has to leave the game. It is identical to the Little League coach who ordered one of his players to hurt a retarded player to get him out of the game. That coach was prosecuted by the police and went to jail. In football, this happens in every game against an option team. It is criminal assault and battery and it is being taught by coaches.
offside on kickoff Has there ever been a TV kick where at least one kickoff player was not offside when the kicker’s foot hit the ball? My players did not violate it, but everyone else’s did. As with illegal motion, it now seems to need to be flagrant to be flagged. TV replay guys could show this and shame the officials into enforcing it again. Same with illegal motion.
rule against continuing to compete after the whistle most notably in fumble piles This is really stupid. The officials should make the call based on who had the ball last time the official saw it. The current process of trying to look at what’s going on at the bottom of the pile encourages thug behavior and proves nothing football wise.
roughing the snapper Gee, thanks for the relatively recent rule protecting long snappers. Now how about enforcing the damned thing!
sideline infractions like stepping on field and not staying behind lines Stop with the stupid warnings. The warning is in the rule book. Enforce it.
spearing Big safety hazard. Must be enforced. Rarely is.
uniform customization and protective gear modification It has become fashionable especially at the high school level to wear trimmed-to-near-nothing knee pads, near-nothing teeth guards, pants that do not cover the knees, overly long cleats, adhesive tape racing stripes, helmets that do not fit snug enough, spats, etc. The rules on uniformity of equipment should be enforced. That is even more true of the rules about pads which relate to player safety.