Rand: Is the NFL really ready to kick out kickoffs?

  • Updated: December 6, 2012 - 8:44 PM

2DAY'S 2 CENTS Possible rule changes

The NFL, like all major pro leagues, tinkers with rules to reflect new trends or new technology. Utilizing instant replay, protecting the quarterback -- even changing overtime to make it more fair -- are good examples of changes many of us can accept as being "for the good of the game." ¶ Before the 2011 season, the league moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35-yard line, with the idea that fewer kickoff returns would mean a decrease in injuries on those often violent and fast-moving plays. It was a medium-sized move with a decent-sized impact, but it did not fundamentally change the game. It did not stop people in their tracks -- unlike the out-of-left-field idea that has emerged recently and apparently has the ear of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

SI.com, piggybacking off an interview Goodell did with Time Magazine, notes that the commish is mulling the merits of a completely new way of handling special teams. The proposal -- reportedly from Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano -- would eliminate kickoffs after scoring plays. That's not the truly odd part. Here's where it gets really weird:

Instead of a kickoff, the ball would be placed at the scoring team's 30 yard line. That team would have the option of trying to run an offensive play -- gaining 15 yards or more would give them a first down and allow them to keep the ball, while anything less would give the ball to the other team -- or punting the ball away.

Seriously. We are treating this as fact because it was reported by a very reputable outlet. But there's no way it can happen, right?

Even if there was a time when football didn't include forward passes -- we're talking decades ago, legally, and not the Vikings' game plan Sunday vs. Green Bay -- it's hard to conceive of football, as popular as it is now, changing such a fundamental part of itself in exchange for something that seems like a gimmick.

Sure, an on-side kick is a strange play -- and maybe even a play with roughly the same "success" rate as converting what would be essentially a 4th-and-15 play into a first down. But it's just ... too ... bizarre to think of football without kickoffs. It's a dangerous, violent sport. Kickoffs are a part of that. At some point, as long as football as we know it exists, we need to accept that instead of considering wacky ways to minimize it.

MICHAEL RAND

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Orlando 89
Indiana 109 FINAL
Detroit 119
Milwaukee 107 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Houston 117 FINAL
Memphis 111
San Antonio 90 FINAL
New Orleans 97
Charlotte 75 FINAL
Oklahoma City 98
LA Lakers 98 FINAL
Dallas 102
Minnesota 102 FINAL
Denver 106
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Portland 114
Phoenix 115 FINAL
Sacramento 106
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 12/27/14 1:10 PM
Duke
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close