Every year at the NFL owners meeting, the league votes on new rules or changes to existing rules, and lately it seems the NFL is taking a lot of the excitement out of the game which it's fan base thrives on.
Most recently in the last few years, including a rule change this year, this league has effectively taken on of the most exciting plays out of the game, kickoff returns. A few years ago, the league moved the kickoff from the 30 up to the 35 to create more touchbacks, with most kickoffs now going through the back of the end zone and not even giving the returner a chance to bring the ball out. This year, the NFL has taken it a step further, and instead of having touchbacks be brought out to the 20 and the receiving team starting there, they have now changed the rule and touchbacks will be brought out to the 25, giving the returner even less of an incentive to attempt a return, especially a kick that is more than five yards deep in the end zone. Not only is this taking on of the most exciting plays out of the game that fans love, but it is also taking a pivotal part of the game away. Many games have been won or lost on kickoff returns, whether the kick was returned for a score, or simply by the field position gained or lost by the return.
Another rule that has been made an emphasis in the last few years is the defensive holding/defensive pass interference rule. I understand receivers must have a fair shot at catching the ball, and cannot be impeded in the process, but the league and its referees sometimes, more times than not, take this rule too far and don't let the players play. Fans like to see receivers and defensive backs battling and fighting for the football, but with the emphasis the league has imposed of this rule, referees call almost any contact between a receiver and a defensive back, and essentially don't let them play the game. Need a first down? Over half the time a QB can just throw the ball up to a receiver and get a defensive penalty.
Some rule changes are good and need to be made, and some are needed, but the NFL keeps changing rules and taking exciting play out of the game. If they keep doing this, they will eventually start to lose their fans.