Chiefs TE Travis Kelce thinks NFL’s new fair catch kickoff rule is ‘absolutely stupid’
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce is the latest to speak out against the NFL’s new fair catch rule on kickoffs. This comes after both Tommy Townsend and Andy Reid weighed in, expressing valid concerns over the new rule. Townsend’s frustration came from the NFL passing a rule that players and coaches were against. Reid thinks the change is a slippery slope that could lead to the league playing “flag football.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the rule change, the league is disincentivizing kickoff returns in the name of player safety. In 2023, they’ll allow any fair catch on kickoffs of drop-kicks to act as a touchback and be placed at the 25-yard line.
Travis Kelce discussed the change with his brother Jason Kelce on the latest episode of their “New Heights” podcast. Neither brother likes the change, but Travis was particularly harsh in his evaluation. His primary concern — taking the excitement out of the opening play of the game.
“I think this is absolutely stupid,” Travis said. “I don’t think this is making the game safer. I think it’s making it more boring and taking a lot of excitement out of the game’s opening play.
“Boo. It’s whack and it’s taking away from the excitement of a kickoff. I love watching opening kickoffs.
“It just deflates the excitement of the first kickoff. Everybody used to like. . . *imitate crowd noise* . . . and it’s exciting and then you see that first like contact. You hear it. Everybody is just running full speed at each other. Heads are banging. Guys are running full speed at each other and then a guy gets close-lined and does a backflip. And you’d like, ‘FOOTBALL! THIS IS ELECTRIC.’ and you’re just going to ****ing turn it into, ‘Bloop, place the ball at the 25-yard line. Let’s get the quarterback out here.'”
The Kelce brothers seem to think that if you’re going to make this change the NFL might as well just get rid of the kickoff altogether. The reality is that could be the next step, especially if the NFL doesn’t see the results they’re hoping to see with this one-year trial run of the rule on kickoffs.
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