NFL – And one of the more prevalent talking points lately has centered on the dangers of kickoffs. Prior to the 2011 season, kickoffs were moved up to the 35-yard-line, drastically decreasing the number of returns attempted. If at least one NFL coach has his way, the league won’t stop there. According to TIME, Goodell recently discussed with Rick McKay, Falcons president and head of the NFL’s competition committee, a radical rule change proposed by Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano. Instead of a kickoff, the team that scored would then take the ball on its own 30-yard line in, essentially, a 4th-and-15 situation. In other words, they could attempt to keep their offense on the field and try to pick up 15 yards, at the risk of turning the ball over on downs; or they could punt. “I don’t do things for public relations,” Goodell said. “I do things because they’re the right thing to do, because I love the game.”
It’s understandable that everybody wants to keep things the same since nostalgia and sports go together like gay men and anal-numbing lube, but Schiano’s idea isn’t that bad. Onsides kicks flat out don’t work. I’m not going to look up the percentages but I’m sure it’s somewhere between “Nope” and “Your Team Already Lost”. A 4th & 15 situation would make the ending of NFL games exponentially more exciting, raise the stakes for Fantasy players, and allow good defenses to put teams away without hoping some special teams hands guy can grab a lucky bounce. Teams would be concocting all types of trickery 15-yard plays to get that extra possession; coaches would probably dedicate a whole offensive package to it during the offseason.
Also, it’s not like 2/3 of all kickoffs aren’t touchbacks already. Part of the game was made lame by moving the ball to the 35 on the kickoff, might as well change the rules once more to increase safety AND make it exciting again.
PS – Fuck a kneeldown.