The extra point is the nonalcoholic beer of football: nobody asked for it in the first place; nobody has ever gone to a game for one; nobody really wants it around; but since it doesn't do much harm, it's hung around for decades now. NFL Total Access's Rich Eisen called the extra point the "penny" of the NFL, and that too seems pretty appropriate.
But the extra point's time may be nearing an end. (Nonalcoholic beer, alas, is a separate barnacle.) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on Monday that he could envision a time when the extra point no longer has a place in the NFL.
Goodell called the extra point "almost automatic," and he's not wrong. For 2013, kickers attempted 1,183 extra points. Know how many they missed? Five. No kicker missed more than one extra point in the entire season. That's a success rate of 99.6 percent for a part of the game nobody would miss anyway ... well, except for the kickers, and the networks and sponsors who get an extra commercial break wedged in there before the kickoff.
"Are there any plays in the game that really are not consequential?" Goodell said. "You want to add excitement with every play."
Under consideration: a new scoring system that would award seven points for a touchdown. However, if a team wishes, it can go for an eighth point ... with the caveat that if the attempt fails, the team actually loses a point and drops back to six points. It's basically the same system as now, with the presumption that an extra point would be made.
"You want to be careful [mandating a rules change]. Is that going to discourage people from going for two?" Goodell said, saying he wants to avoid "unintended consequences" of a hasty change.
Other possibilities not mentioned could be keeping the extra point but moving the kicking spot farther back, or offering more point values for farther-distance kicks, but that's starting to get into circus-game territory.
The Competition Committee meets in March, and this could be a topic of conversation, though any implementation is likely years away. Meantime, your thoughts?
Here's the video with the commish, for your review:
- Sports & Recreation