Getting Rid of Kickoffs?

“NFL Proposing Getting Rid of Kickoffs”

I saw this headline earlier this week and thought April Fool’s Day came early. I was going through my sports headlines and thought that this headline had to be a joke. I clicked on the link and found that it was no joke and that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was proposing this rule change.

Kickoffs have been apart of football since the game was invented and I immediately thought that this idea made no sense. Kickoffs add excitement to what is an incredible game and the highest level of football was thinking of getting rid of one of the biggest parts of the game.

Goodell has been preaching this would be put in for safety reasons but his idea was downright confusing. I had to read the idea of the scoring team being able to punt the ball from the 30 or getting a fourth and 15 more than a few times before it registered. At first glance, the rule seemed more confusing than beneficial.

With injuries increasing, Goodell has made several rule changes, however, the added rules have added confusion. Earlier this season when the league was using replacement referees, it was apparent that most of these fill-in officials were having trouble understanding how the NFL rules worked. A lot of these officials may not have been qualified to do NFL games but the way a lot of the rules are written are confusing even to the average fan and even the announcers.

During the Thanksgiving Day game between the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, a lot of confusion stemmed from Justin Forsett’s touchdown run in the third quarter. Forsett appeared to be down on the play early on but no whistle was blown and Forsett got up and ran into the endzone for a touchdown. All scoring plays are supposed to be reviewed for accuracy, however, this play was not reviewed. Not too long after Forsett scampered into the endzone, Lions head coach Jim Scwartz threw the red challenge flag onto the field even though scoring plays are already reviewed accuracy. Such an action results in a 15 yard penalty and as fans would find out, it also negated the ability for the play to be reviewed.

As the confusion began to unfold, CBS announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms both could not figure out the ruling and didn’t understand the rule. It was apparent to both of them that it didn’t make sense the play could not be reviewed because Schwartz threw the red challenge flag. They both agreed it should result in the 15 yard penalty but didn’t understand how the play was no longer reviewable at that time.

It can be argued that this rule may need to be re-written but it is not the first time I have heard feedback that the rules are confusing. On certain occasions, I have heard relatives and other fans mention that the NFL makes the rules too complicated at times. It is apparent that the college rules seem more simple and there are less problems with close calls.

Goodell may be trying to make the game safer but eliminating kickoffs and the idea behind could cause more problems for a rule book that still needs to be reviewed.



~ by jeffrsabo on December 9, 2012.

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