Apparently, the stiffarm has always been illegal in the NFL, but for 2008 it’s being listed as a point of emphasis for better enforcement.
Naturally, all of this is coming as quite a surprise to Marion Barber III.
Officials have been told to throw a flag when an offensive player grabs onto or twists the facemask of a defender — a 15-yard facemask penalty — or when he violently shoves a defender aside with a stiff arm to the face — a 15-yard hands-to-the-face penalty.
“Then, I’m going to use the elbow,” Barber said, jokingly, before adding, “I didn’t even know. I’m going to have to read up on it. So you can’t stiff arm at all? What about the throat?”
I’m going to miss Barber committing face rape on unsuspecting defenders; this is actually one of the rare interpretations that will help the defense. I suppose that using one’s arm “as a weapon” is an unfair advantage against 11 guys using their entire bodies as weapons.
You’d think the defense was made up of 11 quarterbacks; the game gets more emasculating every year. Get ready for touch football in 2028. It’s coming. You heard it here first.