Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kickoffs Are About To Become As Useful As Mammry Glands On A Bull

In tonight's Eagles-Ravens game, rookie kicker Alex Henery approached the football on the kicking tee as the local announcers talked up the fact that the rook was said to be concerned about kickoffs. Making field goals did not concern him, since he's done that with aplomb during his college career, but this whole matter of kickoffs and getting possibly smoked by a return man was a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

So he approached the ball, put foot to it... and drove it 8 yards deep into the end zone for a touchback. Job well done, rook.

And the same job that was done 6 out of 7 times tonight, and the same job that will probably be done 6 out of every 7 times all year, since the league has pushed up the yard line where the kicker hits the freaking ball. Find something else to worry about, rook.

We're about to enter into a whole new era of useless, folks -- where we not only get ten minutes of ads from touchdown to kickoff to drive start, but where that kickoff is rarely of any consequence. So some of the greatest athletes in the world are going to spend an inordinate amount of time this year watching footballs fall deep into end zones and taking knees, all for the fairly useless PR story of saying that they are doing something about head trauma.

So if that's the case... why have the play at all? Just start every possession on the 25 and be done with it, outlaw onside and squib kicks. Maybe punts too, since those might be dangerous. Or passing plays of more than 20 yards downfield.

Or, well, the game of football entirely.

I will, of course, continue to watch NFL games, and so will everyone else in the audience; there isn't anyone out there that will be driven away from the lack of a kickoff. But will the games be less exciting, less fun, less prone to twists of fate. And if we're fortunate, maybe they'll roll this back to the way things were, when the special teams game wasn't broken, and it got fixed.

Until then, feel free to buy seats at the 20, folks. You're sure to see a lot of plays there.

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