In an unprecedented move, the National Football League's commissioner, Roger Godell, implemented an in-season minimum height rule of five foot nine and one quarter inches that took effect immediately. The rule, in essence, ended New England wide receiver Wes Welker's NFL career.
"We needed this minimum height rule to limit the number of shin and knee injuries that taller players were receiving from the smaller players, which, were too small to be seen by them", said the commissioner at an emergency press conference. "So at this point, any player that is below the height of five feet nine and one quarter inches will be removed from the league immediately. There will be no exceptions".
When asked if there were any particular players that the rule was made for, Godell responded: "Absolutely. We implemented the rule on the account of Wes Welker, who is only five feet nine inches tall, so in essence, the rule could be dubbed the "Welker Rule".
In explaining the rule, Godell told the press that: "We have had too many complaints from players and coaches from around the NFL, especially the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, that the small size of Welker has caused many defensive players knee and shin injuries because, none of them can see him on the field".
"This whole Welker bit has gotten really old", growled an agitated Miami coach Tony Sparano. "Every time we play New England we have guys coming off the field from having Welker smashing up against their knees' and shins'. I mean, come on man, none of our guys can ever see him".
"It's about time", agreed Raven's linebacker Ray Lewis. "You have no idea how many times our defensive players are going after a low thrown Tom Brady pass anticipating an interception and then, 'bam', the ball disappears and our guy is on the ground grabbing his knee or shin. This is a good rule".
A stoic New England coach, Bill Belichick, appeared to take the rule in stride saying: "I understand the rule. It's, like, when you going to Disneyland where they have a measuring stick at each ride that says, 'you have to be at least this tall to go on this ride'. It makes a lot of sense when you think of it, plus, we have a bunch of guys that are at least five feet nine and a quarter inches tall, so, this should not be a problem".
New England wide receiver Wes Welker appeared to take everything in stride and told the press: "I don't have a problem with this rule. As a matter of fact, it might just be a good thing. I hear that they are doing a re-make of the Wizard of Oz. A lot of people do not realize that I, too, can sing in an annoying high pitched squeaky voice".