Football is one of the most popular sports in the country and the NFL plans to keep it that way. The NFL is always looking for ways to evolve the game in order to maintain the interests of fans. Most of the proposed plans get rejected, but their new proposed number plan seems to have enough support to be passed. As of now, there are tight restrictions on what numbers are deemed eligible for specific positions.
Quarterbacks, kickers, and punters can wear numbers 1 through 19, receivers can wear numbers 10 through 19 and 80 through 89, running backs and defensive backs can wear 20 through 49, tight ends can wear 40 through 49 and 80 through 89, offensive linemen can wear 50 through 79, defensive linemen can wear 50 through 79 and 90 through 99 and linebackers can wear 40 through 59 and 90 through 99. With this new proposed rule, running backs, tight ends, and receivers can wear 1 through 49 and 80 through 89, defensive backs can wear 1 through 49 and linebackers can wear 1 through 59 and 90 through 99.
The new proposed rule matches the number restrictions used for both high school and college football. This would allow players to wear the same number throughout their whole football career and would not have to change it due to the current NFL number rule.
Most fans and players seem to be on board with this rule, but some players are not totally sold on this.
“The single digit s**t childish, leave that for them college folks,” said San Francisco 49ers’ receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
Aiyuk believes that wearing single-digit numbers is childish because they are deemed as ‘cool’ to young football players and NFL players should not give in to this immature way of thinking. Aiyuk is also is referring to how it is childish to care about what number an athlete is able to wear and the NFL’s number restriction allows young players to learn to not care about what number they get.
Although this may seem like a negative to some people, this could have positive effects by paving a way for more wanted changes to the NFL. Some of these changes include changing the overtime rules, allowing a team to have more than one helmet color, or even adding an alternative to onside kicks. If this proposed rule change occurs, then the NFL could be open to these other changes the NFL fans and players want, resulting in a better football experience for everyone.