An investigative report from Sports Illustrated on Friday has revealed that, despite containing hundreds of pages detailing the minutiae of every aspect of facilitating a professional football game, there is nothing in the National Football League rulebook about murder.
SI’s Laura Vertelli has confirmed that after poring through entire chapters dedicated to the proper inflation of footballs, press conference and media protocol, regional TV broadcasting rights, and the minimum allowable logo size on NFL apparel, she has found that murder is not mentioned once in the rulebook. “If you mime blowing the smoke off an imaginary pistol after you score a touchdown, rule C.305 says you’re fined $250,000,” said Vertelli, adding that the offending celebration would also come with a two-game suspension. “But if you use an actual pistol to shoot and kill someone, the League can’t do anything against you.”
“There’s just nothing here,” she finished, holding up a thick rulebook that apparently doesn’t say anything about how players shouldn’t take a human life.
Players around the league are reacting strongly to this development. “I can’t believe there’s nothing in those 288 pages about murder,” says Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. “Seems like that’d be the first thing they start with: don’t kill people on the field, then don’t line up more than eleven men on the line of scrimmage, and so on. Football’s a pretty violent game, so you’d think they’d specify the yardage penalty just in case one of your opponents winds up dead.”
“But at least it’s nice to know we have a clause specifying that all field marking numbers are to be six feet long with a tolerance of one-quarter inch,” Benjamin finished.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has expressed mild surprise upon learning of this oversight. “We’ll just have to get right to fixing that, won’t we,” said Goodell, who has been in charge of the country’s most influential professional sports league since 2006. “Yes sir. Let everyone know that the NFL doesn’t allow murder or the use of game telecast footage without express written consent.”
At press time, the NFL’s lawyers were realizing they should probably add in something about domestic violence, too.