Browns Were One of Six Teams to Vote Against Kickoff Rule

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 07: Wide receiver Joshua Cribbs #16 of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball by linebacker Dane Fletcher #52 of the New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 7 2010 in Cleveland Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

According to a report by the Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi, the Cleveland Browns were one of six teams to vote against the kickoff rule that was passed earlier in the day. The proposal needed at least 24 of 32 votes to pass, so that means 26 teams ended up voting for the change. At a time when fans are already fuming about the lockout, it just stuns me that such a drastic change to the game would come out of no where to irk fans even more.

Maybe the rule change won't end up having a significant impact when it is all said and done. After all, the average fielding position of kickoffs last year was at the 6-yard line. That might be boosted up by all the times teams purposely kicked the ball short or because kickers tried to get more hand time versus trying to blast it out of the end zone. Either way, Joshua Cribbs and the Cleveland Browns can't be pleased. What really irks me is this comment from Grossi's piece:

In defending his team's vote for the changes, one AFC team official said, "Would I rather give [Browns quarterback] Colt McCoy the ball at the 20 or put the ball in Cribbs' hands?"

So this AFC North team official is defending the rule change because it will make it easier for them to beat the Browns? Maybe the vote makes sense in terms of a competitive advantage for that team, but guess what? The whole purpose of the "rule change" -- promoting player safety -- doesn't sound like it was taken into consideration. Talking about screwing one team (Cleveland) and benefiting another.

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