Saturday, March 8, 2014

The NFL should just eliminate kickers altogether

There has been a lot of discussion in the news lately about changing the extra point in the NFL.  I have a better idea: Get rid of it completely.  Field goals too.  And while you're at it you can dump kickoffs (which the NFL is worried are too dangerous anyway) and punts as well.  This sounds like sarcasm, but I'm dead serious.

A century ago in the early days of football kicks were performed by players who were otherwise involved in the game.  It's silly to have the one guy now who does only that.  The sport has evolved, It's a totally different thing than it was back then.  Kicking is basically it's own mini-sport that just happens to have kept it's role in this other bigger game.

Consider this -- if you knew literally nothing about football and were watching it for the very first time, wouldn't you think the extra point after a touchdown was a very weird thing?  Kicking the ball through uprights as a bonus for getting into the end zone makes about as much sense as rolling a basketball the length of the court across the opposite baseline instead of shooting free throws; in both cases they have nothing to do with everything else that happens during the course of the game.

In basketball you throw the ball through the hoop. In Baseball you cross home plate.  In hockey you shoot the puck into the net.  It's pretty standard in sports to have just one way to score, so why does football need two?  Off the top of my head the only game I can think of with multiple unrelated methods for scoring points is that made up Quidditch thing from Harry Potter.

Here's my plan: Instead of a kickoff teams would start at the 25 yard line.  Punts could be throws.  If you want the extra point you can just have it, but you still have the option after touchdowns to go for two.  And here's my favorite part, the 30-yard line as a second end zone replacing field goals.  Once you've crossed it you can take 3 points any time you like.

It's just too bad the word "foot" is in the sport's name.

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