Just before the Super Bowl Roger Goodell let the cat out of the bag that the league’s Competition Committee might be looking at abolishing the extra point citing it was too automatic of a play to keep risking player injury and should be replaced with something more exciting for the fans. He has since dropped back a bit on the whole abolishing idea and is now floating around a new idea to push the extra point back to the 25-yard line, making it a 43-yard attempt.
I never realized that I hated the NFL’s extra point until they’ve recently told me that I have to. But, why stop at these boring ideas to add excitement to the game? We can do better than just pushing it back or eliminating it all together, can’t we? Here are some of my goofball ideas for alternatives to kicking the extra point.
The NFL has already been kicking the tires, so to speak, on ideas that could add some degrees of difficulty to the play of the extra point after a touchdown is scored. One proposed change was pushing it back to the 25-yard line. This would make the extra point attempt longer and less “automatic” but doesn’t necessarily change the idea that the play itself can cause unnecessary injuries to players. When it comes down to it, we all know the NFL doesn’t really care about injuring players but I am glad they are considering alternatives that would keep kickers employed. I’d hate to see a bunch of unemployed kickers walking around. That would be depressing.
If you’re telling me that the extra point is automatic, than what you’re saying is that the kicker can basically make that kick with his eyes closed. So why not blindfold him? You raise the drama-level of the play right there, especially with the place holder position. I’m sure they’d find some other guy than the backup quarterback to do that job, in that case.
One other possible, maybe more “reasonable” solution to making the extra point more dramatic would be to push the goal posts closer together. Well that’s just boring. Why not make them moveable? Why not make it a series of tires they have to kick through like the carnival games? How about a ring of fire? Fire instantly adds drama and excitement to anything and most stadiums and domes are already equipped with pyrotechnics so I’ve basically done most of the legwork on the whole practical side of implementing that right there. You’re welcome, Goodell.
Another possible solution to add some excitement to the extra play without altering too much would be to make it a live-ball situation, like with field goal attempts. In that case, if the kick is blocked or the snap is botched, the opposing team has the opportunity to return the ball for a score. Well that’s just boring on its own.
If we’re going to give the opposing team the opportunity to score on an extra point attempt, let’s make it interesting, shall we? How about a dance-off? Why should the guys scoring the touchdowns have all the glory with dancing on the field? We know these guys have moves they’re just waiting to break out.
If you’re not a fan of dancing perhaps we can sweeten the pot by bringing the head coaches into the mix. Instead of an extra point attempt where the opposing team has the chance to score, how about the two head coaches meet at midfield and engage in a best-of-three rock, paper, scissors tournament. Watching Jim Harbaugh vs. anyone else makes it totally worth it.
I’m all for the league improving the game to enhance the excitement for the fans. If we see down the road players are riding Segway’s down the field because that’s what would make it more exciting to watch than them running on foot then so be it. Just don’t change something and replace it with something boring.