No Penalty Here

Mr. Magick Man is watching Denver beat the Patriots this evening. In fact, the game just ended and it looks like Denver is going to the SuperBowl. But that isn’t why I’m writing tonight.

Earlier in the 4th quarter, the ref called an “unnecessary roughness” penalty. My first thought, after seeing the instant reply, was, “These guys don’t watch hockey AT ALL.”

But then, me and my short attention span started wondering… one of the guys on the Patriots team has these long dreads. They go past his shoulders…

Me: If another player dragged that player down by the hair, would that be  “unnecessary roughness”?

Mr. Magick Man: {Looks at me as though I watch too much hockey.}

Me: I’m serious. Look at the guy’s hair. You could totally do that.

Mr. Magick Man: They don’t have a rule against it. There wouldn’t be a penalty.

Me: You have to be kidding me. Surely, it would at least be a “holding” call.

Mr. Magick Man: Look it up. No penalty.

This is why they make The Google. And this is why the Google Fu is strong with me.

I still can’t believe what I found.

It is perfectly legal to fight like a girl* on the football field. You can pull someone down to the ground by the hair and no one cares.

*: If you are offended by the term “fight like a girl”, then you clearly haven’t been in one of these fights, nor have you seen one. I advise you to get a cat, make sure she’s well established in her territory, and then introduce another cat. Now try to break up the fight. That’s quite similar but on a much smaller scale and probably safer. Or better yet, try to pill a cat.

There will not be a penalty for pulling hair in the NFL. If the hair is long enough that it reaches the jersey, then it is “touching” the jersey and it is “part of the uniform”. A uniform can be used to pull a player down, so it is up to the player to keep their hair short.

I got this tidbit of information from Gus Ana, a guy who answers question in the NFL. But I found the answer on Quora, and it was an answer to a question from back in September of 2014. This was the most recent source I could find.

It does include a nice video of what I’m talking about, though:

Not to be deterred, I went over to the NFL website and found their 2015 Rulebook.

It is nowhere to be found. It hasn’t been added in the new rules. It isn’t addressed. It isn’t even mentioned.

I gotta’ say, NFL, I’m kinda’ impressed. You’re making the effort to meet the violence of hockey. But until you guys throw the ball down, throw off the helmets and start duking it out on the field, you’ll never hold my interest.

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~ by Duch on January 24, 2016.

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