Forget the National Anthem Protests
The thing that is going to kill the National Football League isn't players kneeling on the sidelines. It's going to be ridiculous rules that make quarterbacks virtually untouchable.
When Clay Matthews was flagged for roughing the passer on Sunday (pretty much costing the Green Bay Packers a win over the Minnesota Vikings), I took it in stride because I figured the NFL would review it, see the error of its ways and correct it going forward. That, however, was not the case. Instead, the league ruled the call was the correct one,
Look, I'm all for player safety and taking precautions to give them protection against unnecessary injuries (especially to the head). But, these new rules (or, actually, newly-emphasized enforcement on old rules) are going to make the games look more like a scrimmage, when the quarterbacks wear red shirts and are off limits. The only difference is, these games count.
I understand quarterback is the most important position/highest paid player and teams need to protect their investments. But, I also wonder if maybe the quarterback is only the most important person on the team because of the competitive advantage the NFL gives that position. If nothing else, if the NFL keeps adding layers of bubble wrap to their most valuable assets, it's going to cost them viewers and, ultimately, money. Will they be so willing to sign those $100 million paychecks then?