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Old 03-29-2008, 09:47 PM  
C-Mac C-Mac is offline
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NFL to discuss hair length proposal at meetings

NFL to discuss hair length proposal at meetings
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Troy Polamalu’s hair cost him a TD in a game against the Chiefs and Larry Johnson in 2006.
The NFL faces some serious issues at its league meetings this week in Palm Beach, Fla. Labor strife looms. The league may shuffle how it ranks playoff teams.
The teams will spend much time, however, discussing hair length. For that, they can thank the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are sponsors of a proposal that would prohibit a player’s hair from covering the name plate or numerals on his jersey. Violators could be subject to a fine, just as they are for other breaches of the uniform code.
“We don’t have anything against long hair,” Chiefs president/general manager Carl Peterson said. “It’s certainly not a cultural thing. We submitted the proposal because we think the long hair should be in violation of the NFL uniform code. We think there are also safety implications that should be considered.
“We aren’t the only team that wanted to address this. We’re just the team that volunteered to make the proposal. I think the competition committee is in support of it. We’ll see what the response is from other teams. I know there are some teams that are supportive of it.”
To be clear, the proposal wouldn’t legislate hair length. A player could keep his locks as long as he wishes. He just needs to tuck it all beneath his helmet and keep it there.
“It doesn’t mean players have to cut their hair,” said Atlanta president Rich McKay, the chair of the NFL’s competition committee. “It means they have to keep their hair under their helmet. There’s a big difference there.”
Not to everyone. The issue has already kicked up a storm. Some players view the proposal as an erosion of their rights, and the players’ association has threatened to fight it.
At the least, the proposal appears to be another example of the NFL trying to legislate itself into the No Fun League. The league has already banned certain end-zone celebrations. Players are already subject to a fine for seemingly trivial uniform violations like untucked jerseys and socks worn too low.
The Chiefs, like many teams, had several players last season who could have been violators of the proposed policy. Wide receiver Bobby Sippio, safety Greg Wesley and two since-departed players, tight end Jason Dunn and defensive end Khreem Smith, wore dreadlocks that under the proposal probably would cost them.
“It’s kind of interesting,” Sippio said. “There’s a positive and a negative to it. I guess I can understand them wanting you not to cover up your name because that’s one of the things that helps the fans notice us. But your hair is part of the person. Hair is something that grows. It’s part of your body.”
Sippio, playing his first NFL season, said he made certain last year that he never gave the NFL’s uniform police any reason to write him up. He indicated he intends to keep it that way if the hair proposal passes.
“I was really on top of that. I made sure my socks were pulled up,” he said. “I had no problems with that. I follow the rules as best I can. I can’t afford the fine. Some guys can afford it. I’m definitely going to abide by league rules. If that happens to be one of them, I’ll either have to tuck it or cut it.”
The Chiefs would seem to be an unlikely booster. They were saved a touchdown two years ago during a game in Pittsburgh when Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, after an interception, was dragged down by Larry Johnson, who made the tackle by grabbing a handful of Polamulu’s flowing mane.
Chiefs coach Herm Edwards wore an oversized afro during much of his playing career in the ’70s and ’80s, so it’s odd hearing him coming down on this side of the issue.
“When I played, I had a lot of hair, too, so I’m not even suggesting that guys cut their hair,” Edwards said. “We’re not saying guys can’t have their own image. We’re just saying that we want to look like we’re supposed to look. You can keep all the hair you want under your helmet. Players can get that done. It’s not that hard.
“But it’s going to be controversial. We know that.”

Some of the other matters to be considered at this week’s NFL meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.:

•The collective bargaining agreement. Some owners believe the league gave the players too many concessions in the most recent agreement.

•A proposal that would change the way playoff teams are seeded. A wild-card team with a better record than a division champion would get a higher seed.

•A proposal that would increase offseason roster size from the current limit of 80 players.

•A proposal that would eliminate the 5-yard facemask penalty. The 15-yard penalty for twisting, turning or pulling the facemask would remain.

•A proposal that would allow for a coach-to-defensive player communication device, much like the current coach-to-quarterback device.

•A proposal to expand instant replay to include field-goal reviews.

•A proposal to eliminate the force-out rule along the sideline. A receiver would be required to get two feet down regardless of defensive contact.

•A proposal that would allow the team that wins the pregame coin toss to defer its choice until the second half, much like the current college rule.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by C-Mac View Post
The NFL faces some serious issues at its league meetings this week in Palm Beach, Fla. Labor strife looms. The league may shuffle how it ranks playoff teams.
The teams will spend much time, however, discussing hair length. For that, they can thank the Chiefs.
That says a lot right there.
There are definitely a lot more important things to discuss. They should just table this discussion until next year when it is brought up for discussion.
Tiecher sounds like he is trying to take a shot at the Chiefs with that last line there.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:25 PM   #3
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"We’re just saying that we want to look like we’re supposed to look. "

Another great Hermism.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:29 PM   #4
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I love it. Whining about hair length now. Hell, if they want to wear their hair long, fine. Pull it every chance you get.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:35 PM   #5
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The Chiefs are always whining about something, it's par for the course.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:22 PM   #7
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I don't care one way or the other about hair length. Not enough to codify it, anyway.

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Originally Posted by C-Mac View Post
...• A proposal that would change the way playoff teams are seeded. A wild-card team with a better record than a division champion would get a higher seed.
I'd vote for this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Mac View Post
• A proposal that would eliminate the 5-yard facemask penalty. The 15-yard penalty for twisting, turning or pulling the facemask would remain.
I'm confused by this one. Are they intending to eliminate the incidental face mask as a violation or are they saying that all face mask incidents should be punishable by 15 yards?

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Originally Posted by C-Mac View Post
• A proposal to eliminate the force-out rule along the sideline. A receiver would be required to get two feet down regardless of defensive contact.
I'd vote for this one.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:53 PM   #8
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I don't care if they have long hair....but I think anything sticking out of a uniform is a viable handle during a tackle.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:02 AM   #9
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I don't care if they have long hair....but I think anything sticking out of a uniform is a viable handle during a tackle.
Exactly. If they are dumb enough to wear it that long, it's fair game.
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:19 AM   #10
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The hair thing should just be left alone. I dont like the force out one either. I like it as is.
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:30 AM   #11
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Personally, I hate long hair sticking out from under the helmets. I think it looks crappy and unprofessional, especially the dreadlocks. For the salaries these guys make, they can conform to an easy uniform standard that promotes a good image and team cohesion.

I agree that there are more important things that need to be addressed, things that have a bigger impact on the game itself.

But I do hope the league establishes some hair length standards. And I readily admit my haircut bias.
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