In another attempt to put his own personal stamp on the game we all know and love, NFL commission Roger Goodell wants to eliminate the extra point in 2014.
Michael Parente - MP@990WBOB.com
Change can be good, if it’s for the right reasons. If you’re changing something just for the sake of making a change, then, quite frankly, you can keep your change.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the extra point attempt is too automatic, a boring play that serves no purpose other than allowing us to take a quick bathroom break following a touchdown. He wants to eliminate it altogether, making each touchdown worth seven points without the kick while still giving teams the option of attempting the two-point conversion to make it eight, but docking them a point and dropping it back to six if they fail.
It’s the NFL’s version of “Let’s Make A Deal,” minus Wayne Brady. Change for the sake of making change. While the NFL should be more focused on revamping its hideous pass interference rule, which gives teams first downs at the spot of the foul, resulting in game-changing momentum swings on calls that are botched more than 75 percent of the time, it’s instead misdirecting its anger at a play that causes no harm whatsoever.
This past year, only four misses occurred on the NFL’s 1,191 extra point attempts. All four were blocked. That’s a tremendous success rate, no doubt, but it still leaves room for human error. No matter how automatic the extra point seems, there’s that brief moment where your heart skips a beat until you actually see the ball sail through the uprights because, in the back of your mind, you know there’s always a chance something could go wrong, albeit a slim one.
Ten years ago in Jacksonville, all Saints’ kicker John Carney had to do was kick a routine extra point with six seconds remaining to send the game into overtime following a miraculous 75-yard touchdown that included three laterals and a 21-yard scamper by Jerome Pathon. Carney missed wide right and New Orleans lost a heartbreaker. Though it didn’t matter that year since the Saints finished 8-8, imagine if they missed a playoff berth by one game and Carney’s gaffe was the deciding factor. Imagine the fallout, the careers and lives that would’ve changed. Why rob us of such drama?
Even Goodell’s proposal for centralized instant replay, which would mean all plays in question are reviewed at one location rather than at individual stadiums on game day, threatens to make the sport more robotic than ever, even if its intent (to get the call right) is good.
Either way, Goodell has made a tremendous, mostly positive, impact on the NFL, largely by rewriting the league’s Player Conduct Policy to hold players more responsible for their actions, which should be applauded unilaterally. Kudos on the outdoor Super Bowl, too. And the idea of turning the Pro Bowl into more of a pickup game where captains pick teams and a live draft is held has turned out to be a genius move in spicing up an otherwise boring afterthought. That’s something that needed to be done. Eliminating extra points is unnecessary. The game won’t be any shorter because of it, nor will it reduce injuries, eliminate penalties, promote goodwill among sovereign nations, or accomplish anything other than pissing off a bunch of kickers who, quite honestly, need the work.
The NFL’s Competition Committee, which meets every off season to discuss such ideas, needs to stick to amendments that directly affect competitive balance – hence the name, Competition Committee – instead of wasting its time voting “Yay!” or “Nay!” on one of Goodell’s perverse fantasies. This wouldn't even be a problem if there weren't more pressing issues that demanded Goodell’s attention. Again, let’s discuss pass interference, which has a seismic impact on the way the game is played, not something Goodell himself admits is inconsequential one way or another.
The NFL is the No. 1 sport in America, and nothing else comes close. Revenue each year tops out at about $9 billion, give or take, and advertisers are still willing to spend upwards of $4 million for a 30-second spot on Super Bowl. Keep your change, Roger. We like our game the way it is, extra points and all.
Support WBOB Sports