Despite what my old kickers like Gary Anderson and Ryan Longwell might want to believe, people don’t pay money for football tickets so that they can go wand watch kickers. Sorry, guys, you were both great, but kicking is just kind of sort of football. And I remember watching you at practice and you were really in a world of your own outside football.
On Tuesday, the National Football League, a league that had actually considered dropping the extra point altogether, voted to change the league’s extra-point rules from 2015.
That’s right, instead of just dumping the extra point – in 2013 only five extra points were missed all season – the NFL’s owners decided to move the scrimmage line for extra points from the two-yard line to the 15-yard line.
So the extra point remains, it’s just a little more challenging. And why not? They owner is paying for a kicker, might as well make him work for his cheque.
I get the premise and I get that maybe we’ll see more two-point conversion attempts. That’s good. But by moving the line of scrimmage back, it takes all the trickeration (the NFL’s word, not mine) out of the point(s) after. As soon as you line up on the 15, you’re kicking. If you line up on the two, you’re going for two. There won’t be anymore cool trick plays.
Of course, to be fair, this does make things a bit more interesting. And hey, the owners also decided that if the defense blocks this new 32-yard extra point (mini-field goal), they can return it for two points.
Sure, it will be a little more fun, but it won’t keep too many people from getting up for a beer. Unless, of course, it forces a few coaches to give that two-point conversion try a little more often. One can always hope.
Anyway, as New York writer Elliot Hannon suggested yesterday, “It will add just enough uncertainty to keep you in your seat and put more emphasis on the kicking game, which, after all, is why fans go to the stadium on Sunday—to see their favorite kicker until he gets waived.”
So, sorry kickers, we all know that fans go to watch touchdowns and see receivers get knocked on their backsides. But I’m sure somebody likes to watch kickers. Your wives, maybe?