One of the best plays in NFL history would have been a penalty if the new crown-of-the-helmet rule was in place at the time. That's why the author of that play, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell, doesn't believe the rule will stick around for long.
"The way I ran the football, the way I played, I played football with my whole body, which I think the game should be played at certain positions like running back," Campbell told Comcast SportsNet Houston on Thursday. "I do not think (the rule) is going to last. I think people want to see the running back running the football. I thought we were getting back to that, but pretty obviously we're not; we're getting farther away from football."
Campbell echoed some of the same words used by NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock earlier this week that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should let "football be football." We've somewhat come around on the rule and don't believe it will have as big of an impact (good or bad) as people think. But it raises an interesting dynamic.
Campbell's famous play, in which his jersey was ripped off, is nominated by NFL.com as one of the greatest plays of all time. Meanwhile, the NFL is trying to legislate the play out of the game. Let's just say it: A vote for Campbell is a great way to vote against the new rule.
"I know there's going to be some things changed, but I never thought I agreed with Jack Lambert," Campbell said. "Twenty years or 10 years ago, he said the quarterback is going to end up wearing a dress. I did not think that I would live long enough to see that happen, but he's right.
"I think what they ought to do, if they really want to change it all up, give guys like we started football in elementary, flag football, and everybody will know not to bump into nobody."Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.