The recently much-discussed proposal to make push back extra point attempts back 23 yards, making it a 43-yard attempt, seems to be resonating with a lot of football fans, though even if the change ends up being approved, it’s said to be highly unlikely to happen for this coming season.
Even if the proposal had universal fan support, there’s bound to be one set of people opposed to the change: kickers themselves. Oh, they’re so upset. One is even being slick about it and trying to turn it into a safety issue.
“I don’t understand the logic: Will it make the game safer for people by moving the extra point back to a 43-yarder? If anything, players are going to rush harder because they’re thinking, ‘That far of a field goal-type try, we have to go after blocking it more,’ ” Adam Vinatieri told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “If you want to talk about potential risk, more guys get injured on a field goal than extra point.
“It definitely will change the game. For the better? I’m not sure.”
Appeals to safety are always nice, but if the standard for a safe game is nothing but plays where no really tries because the result is automatic, you don’t have a very compelling sport.
Meanwhile, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker reiterated what he told Around The League at the Pro Bowl: that the NFL is plenty exciting without trying to soup-up the extra point.
He told the Ravens official website he has other plans if the ultimate goal for the NFL is to rid itself of kickers.
Oh geez, that’s pretty melodramatic. Yes, the extra point rule change will result in more two-point attempts, so that might give the kicker fewer chances to kick extra points, but it will also make the skill needed to convert those extra points more important. In turn, it makes the value of having a good kicker, such as Tucker, over a bad kicker that much more important to teams. Which could actually mean more money for the top-tier kickers in the league.
In other words, that’s what we get for listening to kickers.