Keith’s FOOTBALL Patch Notes

Hey guys, I thought I’d just release my patch notes for American football – the sport. Of course, I don’t have the power to actually enforce these new rules, but if I did, you could expect football to be vastly more awesome and exciting next season. Without further ado, here’s my changes!



Hope you liked my new rules!

  • alientoyshop

    wtf NFL why are you always nerfing punters?

  • keithburgun

    Football is called Foot-ball because it originally had way more to do with kicking. You used to be able to kick the ball anytime you wanted to do a “pass”, if I recall correctly. It’s made a massive transition, almost every time *away* from kicking. This patch just finally gets rid of it.

  • Nahil

    Hey, this might make football watchable for me!

  • Logo

    Have you ever watched football before?

  • keithburgun

    I have pretty extensive exposure to the sport which is why I felt comfortable writing these patch changes. Played on a team for awhile IRL, was VERY into the early Madden games, used to watch it on TV regularly, used to play casually IRL, etc. Also, a big inspiration was seeing Rogers Redding talk at PRACTICE 2011, who had been in charge of writing new rules for college football for some 30 years. He discussed the history of the sport, and how much it has changed over the years. Finally, I had to do a bit of historical research on the game for my book.

    Why do you ask?

  • keithburgun

    It’d reduce the game length and the complexity which is the biggest hurdle for most people regarding the game.

  • Logo

    Because your changes made it appear like you don’t.

    Those patch notes ruin the value of field position, especially for the defense, and remove the 2-point conversion which is uncommon, but not that rare- around an average of .1 times/game/team. By ruining field position you are also creating a game that’s more like playing a game, switching sides, playing it again, then assigning a winner based on who got the better score. Actual football is good because a team’s offense and defense are tied together even though they don’t take the field at the same time.

  • keithburgun

    Yeah actually one thing I would want to change is the “get the ball at the 15 yard line” into “subtract 50 yards from their position, you get the ball there on conversion”. Someone else pointed this out to me.

    So, you have a good point there, but it’s more productive, and makes you look like less of a child if you can just make your point and skip the arguments from authority and insults. Sound good?

  • Incorrect! All sports called football (NFL, CFL, Association Football, Rugby Football, Gaelic Footbal etc) all derive their use of the word from the fact the players run about “on foot” (as opposed to on horseback).

    In the oldest known versions of the sport (which the North American versions of the sport ironically are the closest to!) the ball was oval-shaped (no easy tech to make round balls) and it was almost always carried and sometimes thrown, but rarely kicked. Some players even wore armour (if they had it and could afford it). Of course it was closer to a brawl than the ‘sports’ you see today but there you go 🙂

  • keithburgun

    Hmm. Thanks for the correction, it appears that you’re correct.

  • Very welcome 🙂

    I’ve just had this argument literally 100s of times. Being a huge fan of American Football and living in the UK I like to wind people up by referring to Association Football as “soccer” and gridiron varieties as “football”. Obviously in current usage argument for the UK, I’m ‘wrong’ so to speak, yet history is on my side. Oh and soccer isn’t an Americanism either as most Brits ignorantly think. The Football Association invented it as I they thought they needed an equivalent nickname to compete with the then, much more popular sport of rugby.

  • I think in general you’re heading towards a better game for the competitors, but potentially a worse sport for spectators. Loads of things in the NFL are inherently “poor design” but add oddles of juicy drama and literal unfairness… which must suckk if you are playing it, but are highly entertaining to watch.

    Something I’ve had to come to terms with over the years of watching the NFL, when I used to think of things similar to this post! Now I can actually see the value in a lot of the ‘bad design choices’.

  • Kdansky

    I’ve brought this up for football (which is the correct term for soccer) with people who watch it more than me. I think football is boring to watch, because there’s 87 minutes of nothing, with three minutes of exciting scenes. But then, a friend (who is also not big on watching it) pointed out a major point:

    The rules of sports on TV are not designed to result in the best game possible. They are designed to result in the most drama possible, because that’s what more people care about.

    – If you allow the refs to consult camera footage, you reduce their error margins by orders of magnitudes, which results in much less drama over unexpected decisions. Pretty much every big football story ever has a “the ref made a huge blunder”-part. Example: Maradona’s Hand of God.
    – If you remove the offside-rule, the game becomes much more like Basketball or Handball, where scores are much closer to actual difference in playing skill, and much less day form and luck. A 1 to 0 win against a superior team is absolutely possible, because they only need to mess up their defense just once, and another ten times during their attack. 10 reasonably dangerous shots at the goal are a huge number in football, many games have as little as 3 attacks per team, despite 90 minutes of time. When scores are in the 50-100 range, you can’t get lucky a few times and win.
    – On top of that, higher scores result in less dramatic spikes of tension.

    In the end, better rules would result in less popularity.

  • keithburgun

    Very interesting and possibly true. And indeed, my changes might make it a worse spectator sport, and maybe even a worse “sport” in general. But it would make it a better game.

  • Test Comment!