FanDuel - WFBC

December 21, 2008

Let's Make NFL Extra Points Interesting:

Instead of having allowing the place kicker to kick all extra points in the NFL, imagine if the player who scored the touchdown had to kick the extra point. If the player who scored is injured or completely incapable of making an extra point, then you have to go for two.

In this year's NFL season, kickers are 1024 out of 1029, 99.5% on extra points. I bet if you looked at those 5 misses, they are the cause of a botched snap/hold or blocked. The fact that is that extra points are a mere formality, a foregone conclusion.


Imagine if in the NBA, each team had a designated free throw shooter. Every time your team had to shoot free throws, you bring in the free throw specialist. Every NBA team would have some guy like Ted St. Martin, who once, at the age of 60, made 5,221 free throws in a row. This player, at the age of 60, is obviously completely incapable of playing on the team for a normal play, because we lacks the athleticism to compete against other players, which is why the rules of basketball don't allow for a designated free throw shooter. The player who gets fouled must shoot the free throw. If instead you have a designated free throw shooter, who is a 99.5% free throw shooter, shoot all free throws, there is no drama, it's just a boring foregone conclusion.


So instead of having allowing the place kicker to kick all extra points in the NFL, imagine if the player who scored the touchdown had to kick the extra point. If the player who scored is injured or completely incapable of making an extra point, then you have to go for two. Each team would still have a kicker for field goals, because 40 and 50 yard field goals are much harder. The fact is that kicking an extra point is not that hard, so having all players have to kick extra points would add to the drama, as well as the comedy. Imagine an a defensive tackle who scoops up a fumble and runs it in for a touchdown trying to kick an extra point.


posted by pjb3 to football at 02:34 PM - 31 comments

While I love the idea, don't see any chance it would be considered.

However, I do think something should be done to make the extra point more exciting. Perhaps moving it back ten yards?

posted by dviking at 03:38 PM on December 21

That is a novel idea. I wonder what NFL kickers themselves would think about this.

posted by boredom_08 at 04:20 PM on December 21

In both rugby codes, when a try (touchdown) is scored, the 'conversion' kick (extra points) takes place from a position on the field directly in line with where the try was scored. The kicker can take the ball back as far as they like, but it still has to be level with the scoring position. So scorers will always attempt to put the ball under the posts, to make it easier for their team's kicker.

Applied to NFL, where you don't have to ground the ball, the kick could be taken from a position, say, behind where the scorer crosses the line. It would make for more interesting and challenging kicking.

posted by owlhouse at 04:29 PM on December 21

That's a hell of a self link there, Paul J. Berry.

posted by tommytrump at 05:41 PM on December 21

Terrible idea, in my opinion. Do you really want your players spending time practicing kicking?

The idea of making the kick 10 yards longer would be okay if it didn't eliminate the 2 point conversion.

posted by DudeDykstra at 09:18 PM on December 21

Yeah, I'm up for interesting but why don't we just let the kicker do his thing but with a subtle twist... he has to do it blindfolded and after the "holder" spins him around 3 times (like the "pin the tail on the donkey" game) and then they snap the ball. Not only interesting, but will the kicker still be able to even FIND the ball the holder has "pinned"? Where will he kick it and WILL he even be able to find it to kick it. This REALLY makes it interesting and filled with a lot of instant humor to boot. No pun intended.

futrhse

posted by futrhse at 09:42 PM on December 21

Or how about the PAT must be attempted from line of scrimmage where the touchdown play started. I'm sure we can come up with better ideas...

posted by jmd82 at 11:20 PM on December 21

Make it a drop kick direct to the hands of the kicker. Eliminates the holder from the PAT, gives the long snapper as well as the kicker a new skill to learn, increases the prospect of a block, ensures that the NFL recruits more rugby players.

posted by etagloh at 01:31 AM on December 22

Personally, don't think anything should be done to mess with extra points.

But if we must mess with anything, I agree with etagloh. Make them try a drop-kick.

The only other way I'd mess with kicking would involve rigging nets around them, so that like in the non-functional AFL, a wide kick is still in play. Would make things much more exciting for the Devin Hesters of the world.

posted by Bonkers at 05:46 AM on December 22

I know, lets require that the kicker make a self post to a blog that doesn't self posts while twittering from his blackberry (or iphone) and kicking.

posted by apoch at 07:55 AM on December 22

PaulBerry.com. My new home page. Seriously, though, let's just do away with kickers altogether. I've said it several times on this site, but the fact so many tough, rugged football games are decided by dweebie little pukes has never made any sense. Make every touchdown have to be followed by two-point conversions. Get rid of the goal posts. We don't need field goals. If teams can't get in the end zone, they don't deserve to score. I guess we can keep punters in the game, not that I'm happy about it. As for kickoffs, let another actual player on the roster handle them. More and more kickoffs aren't going further than the 20 yard line these days anyways, and many are squibbed.

posted by dyams at 08:44 AM on December 22

Hey, sorry about the self link. I didn't realize that was so frowned upon in this community, Hoser does it every week with his NFL picks. I'm not trying to drive traffic to my blog or anything, I'm just a sports fan who legitimately thinks it's a fun idea. Judging by some of the sarcastic comments here, not everybody agrees.

posted by pjb3 at 10:54 AM on December 22

We don't need field goals. If teams can't get in the end zone, they don't deserve to score. My plan is to not count field goals in the final score if the team hasn't scored some other way -- touchdown, safety, extra point (awarded if they run back the other team's PAT attempt). No more 9-7 games (this would revert to 7-0 when the field goals are removed).

You can kick field goals all game long, but you'd better be able to make them safe by scoring some other way. Imagine the change in dynamics and tactics if your team is leading 12-7 towards the end of the game and needs the TD.

Overtimes would also have to be settled with a TD or a safety -- no more getting the ball on the 20 and moving 40 yards before kicking a FG to win.

posted by joaquim at 03:39 PM on December 22

maybe we could kick it backwards with the heel of our foot

posted by wlocke2 at 04:03 PM on December 22

Maybe we could tie the points awarded for a field goal to the distance of the kick. And, I would use the line of scrimmage as the determination point.

Kick a field goal from inside the 20 get one point. Over 20 but less than 30 yards get two points, anything over 30 yards gets the full 3 points.

posted by dviking at 05:15 PM on December 22

the original topic makes some sense but a few of you just went crazy with it. PAT seem pointless with so many of them being made but how many of you have tried to kick a FG for any distance. I havent commited myself to doing it 8 hours a day 6 days a week but have tried a few times and its not all that easy.

posted by jjmule16 at 05:25 PM on December 22

I'm on base with you dyams. But only on PATs. I'd like to see every touchdown followed by a two-point conversion attempt. Not just a "free" point that rarely is missed. Field goal kicking should stay.

posted by BoKnows at 11:00 PM on December 22

Imagine if in the NBA, each team had a designated free throw shooter. Every time your team had to shoot free throws, you bring in the free throw specialist

Imagine? The NBA already does have that. When there's a flagrant foul and the team has to shoot a freethrow, the team shooting the free throw can choose who they want to shoot the ball.

posted by BornIcon at 07:14 AM on December 23

The kicker should take a shot of Jack for every 1st down that his team makes. This will put everyone on the edge of their seats in the 4th quarter when the PAT really matters, and it will increase the amount of 60 yard touchdowns. And if the kicker whiffs the ball entirely, he's forced to call his ex-girlfriend on the jumbo-tron and ramble on about how good things used to be and maybe they should give it another shot.

posted by kire at 01:55 PM on December 23

If the player who scored the touchdown had to attempt the kick, the holder would need hazard pay and a hell of lot of insurance for all the broken fingers.

posted by graymatters at 05:32 PM on December 23

Hey, sorry about the self link. I didn't realize that was so frowned upon in this community, Hoser does it every week with his NFL picks.

Canadians are allowed to self-link. It's an obscure rule.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:54 PM on December 23

Don't anybody dare replace kickers. Stephen Gostkowski is one of my most reliable fantasy team producers. Hella thing is, too, that I get to snatch him up every year, because no one else even thinks about a kicker until the ninth or tenth round.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:27 PM on December 23

Do away with the goal posts and kicking? Sure why not; you've eliminated just about every other element of actual football from American "football" anyway. Please go ahead and change the name of the game to something else, too, while you're at it.

posted by dave2007 at 09:48 PM on December 24

I didn't realize that was so frowned upon in this community, Hoser does it every week with his NFL picks.

I do it because I've been posting here for about five years and writing a weekly tipsheet for most of it. We used to have a tool for posting columns -- and it's apparently on its way back -- but for now self-linking is the only way to get a column up.

I think that's also the reason yours wasn't pulled down -- you weren't selling anything other than a cockamamie idea.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:10 PM on December 26

Speaking of the game being called "football," that's another thing I've always considered stupid. Calling soccer "football" makes all the sense in the world, but the game this post has to do with should be called "Kill the Guy with the Ball" or something.

posted by dyams at 03:45 PM on December 26

Or, and hear me out here, but, we could, if it's o.k. with the rest of the world (who don't and shouldn't give a rat's ass about the game that we call football here), just maybe, continue calling the game played on the gridiron "football" here in the states, because that's what we called it when we invented it. The rest of the world could continue calling the game that we call "soccer," if they want to, "football." They can even continue to very politely tell us dumbshit Americans, "where I'm from we call soccer "football." In response, we can continue feigning interest and nod our heads, saying something like, "Oh, I didn't realize that." And the people who are offended by the fact that we, here in the poor old backward ass states, call a game football that isn't the same game as what the rest of the world calls football, can go pound sand. Just one way of solving that dilemma that obviously costs people some sleep.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:50 PM on December 26

Whoa. Sounds almost like you're the one losing some sleep over the topic. I re-read my post about the "football" name and didn't quite pick up on any clue I may be losing sleep over the issue. They could call it "Non-RoundBall" and I'd still watch it. I only meant calling it "football" really makes no sense. Other than a couple kicks and punts each game (and running, which is utilized in many sports), why the word "foot?"

posted by dyams at 08:31 PM on December 26

Just trying to be a problem solver, take it for what it's worth.

posted by tahoemoj at 08:39 PM on December 26

28 comments that have virtually nothing to do with the cons AND pros of the subject presented.

Presently, if a touchdown is made it's a given that it's a seven point play, unless something stupid happens that has nothing to do with the snapper, holder or kicker.

Why not ensure that the touchdown is a six point play, as prescribed, with some tension as to the extra point, or two?

Surely there's some proper argument to be made that doesn't consist of name-calling, obfuscation and derision...

posted by bobfoot at 01:51 AM on December 28

I'm not suggesting we get rid of kickers or the goal posts, because field goals would still be kicked by kickers. Kicking an extra point is not that hard. Any professional athlete should be capable of doing it.

Also, the NBA does not have designated free throw shooters. The player who is fouled must shoot the free throw. In some cases (technical foul, flagrent foul, etc.), the team gets to pick a player to shoot. It happens rare enough that it isn't worth it to have a free throw specialist on the roster.

posted by pjb3 at 03:21 PM on December 28

28 comments that have virtually nothing to do with the cons AND pros of the subject presented.

I'm terribly sorry, I'll get right on it. I think it's a silly notion, on the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" line. Sorry, got no pro here. But I understand why it makes interesting conversation for some, similar to debates about the usefulness of the designated hitter in baseball. It's just never been the case that people were only allowed to comment on a thread in SportsFilter if they could present a list of bullet-point arguments for and against.

Presently, if a touchdown is made it's a given that it's a seven point play, unless something stupid happens that has nothing to do with the snapper, holder or kicker.

You're wrong. I've seen examples of all of the above. Hell, I saw one yesterday. If you watched the Jets-Phins game, you did too.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:24 PM on December 29

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