Team A is still down by two points with less than one minute remaining in the game and they are kicking off to team B after just scoring a touchdown. Team B realizes they are going to try an onside kick and at last minute brings their return man up right behind their first line of defense-men. As team A is kicking the ball, the return man raises his hand for a fair catch in accordance with Rule 10. As the ball is kicked sideways and the return man runs toward it, he is blocked both by his own men and players from the other team from reaching the ball.
And the question: Would this be legal under the rules? Would the ref call some type of foul on either team? Is the return man entitled to a clear path to the ball under this scenario? And if not, please cite the rule.
I'm intrigued by Michael's response; but not yet quite satisfied. Let's add another facet to the scenario. Let's say the wind is blowing hard when Team A is kicking off and they can't keep the ball on the tee and they opt to drop kick the ball as provided in the rules. So has the ball touched the ground and now the kick off receiver can't call a fair catch no matter where he is standing? And if that is the case; wouldn't be better for every team to drop kick the ball so they could run down and tackle the opposing return man?