Connor

Connor’s Corner

Sep 26 • Connor's Corner, Opinion • 361

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The National Football League is home to some of the world’s premiere athletes, yet teams rely on specialized placekickers – almost half the size of their compatriots blocking for them – when the game hangs in the balance.

The NFL doesn’t hesitate to change rules almost every season with regard to players’ safety, and this puzzling phenomenon could lead to new ideas and changes, making action more exciting for fans.

The hopes and dreams of cities have been smashed by the foot of kickers pushing the ball wide of the goal posts. Scott Norwood, a Buffalo Bills placekicker, famously missed the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV wide right.

The philosophy in most sports is to have the best player on the team handling the ball for a potential final shot to win a game. Why would you want your team to depend on a player who is statistically the second-lowest paid position on an NFL roster, behind tight ends, according to sportsillustrated.com?

The NFL with no field goals and extra points would look different from the current playing style, but would allow the players that fans paid to watch decide the game. Some might say that this idea is too radical and would completely change the dynamic football.

To those critics, I would like to point out that moving the kickoff forward changed the game and essentially took kick returns from the sport. This may seem like a minor change, but ask Devin Hester,  the Chicago Bears wide receiver, return specialist and NFL return record-holder, who did not return a kickoff for a touchdown last season, what he thinks.

Kicking field goals and extra points has been a staple in the scoring system of football, but forcing teams to go for it on fourth down would get the fans on their feet. Punting would still be a necessary part of the game, and kickers could modify their skillset to master it.

Patriots fans would likely have a different point of view on this situation because they watched Patriots placekicker Adam Vinatieri boot home two game-winning kicks to capture both Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII.

If you asked any of the coaches who lost a Super Bowl on a final-second kick, I bet they would have rather put the ball in the hands of their star running back or quarterback. Football without field goals would also take the brutal idiotic tactic of icing kickers out of game.

More offensive plays mean more points and turnovers– everything a fan would want. Football is the most popular sport in North America, but younger generations seem to want and need more action to keep their attention.

The change would cause controversy, force different offensive and defensive game plans, lead to more game-changing plays and ultimately drive up the television ratings. Taking field goals and extra points out of football would change the landscape of the sport and make room for more super star athletes to showcase their talents.

 

CONNOR SONDEL

sondel001@knights.gannon.edu

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