The NFL was simply trying to protect officials by positioning them behind the line of scrimmage, but a five-yard, preseason delay of game penalty caused Peyton Manning to demand the umpires be removed from the field entirely.
Naturally, the league acquiesced and umpires will now make their calls from zip lines positioned above the field of play.
“This wasn’t some irrelevant player from Detroit or Baltimore,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We’re talking about Peyton Manning. The second he started whining like a little baby, we knew we had to act. I actually think the zip line is a fairly innovative solution.”
Positioned 30 feet above the gridiron, the umpires will now be able to scan the field without ruining the flow of the Indianapolis Colts offense.
“It’s a good thing they fixed this!” cried Manning, still puffy-eyed from the temper tantrum he threw just minutes earlier. “It wasn’t fair. It’s like how we lost the Super Bowl even though everyone knows we were supposed to win.”
According to NFL sources, the league will also provide the Colts an additional two draft picks next season in hopes of smoothing things over.
“Some people think it sets a bad precedent to knee-jerk a rules change because one player felt it would limit his advantage against other teams,” said Goodell. “Well, it’s not just one player. We’d do the same thing for Tom [Brady] or Brett [Favre] if they complained.”
Added Goodell: “Probably not Philip Rivers, though. I can’t stand that guy.”