If you read this site somewhat regularly you’re familiar with the work of my pal and football historian (Natural Enemies) John Kryk. Well, in good news for football fans everywhere, Kryk recently was named as the NFL columnist for the Toronto Sun, & according to the paper he’ll be “the first full-time, year-round NFL beat columnist in Canadian sports journalism history.”
So what can we expect from Kryk? We’ll see—but based on the evidence his first few columns there’ll be the occasional nugget of Michigan football history. Check Kryk’s piece on Tom Brady this week that focuses in on a single moment of brilliance in the ‘99 Penn State game. It wasn’t a TD toss or a sharp pass or even the start of a key drive. It was a critical, seemingly unconventional decision to do nothing…that is, just let the play clock run out despite having a couple timeouts. Kryk explains here.
And yesterday Kryk took us back a century ago Friday when football enacted sweeping rules changes (including the opinion of Fielding Yost) that altered the face of the game forever :
It was exactly 100 years ago Friday — Feb. 3, 1912 — that the U.S. college football rules committee (there was no pro league yet) agreed to pass the last of a series of sweeping, epochal rules changes that would forever differentiate, and define, the American game.
Those new rules included:
- adding a fourth down;
- shortening the playing field between the goal lines to 100 yards;
- creating a 10-yard end zone behind each goal line;
- increasing the value of the touchdown from 5 points to 6;
- allowing forward passes to be thrown across the goal line;
- removing the 20-yard downfield limit on forward passes.