A Kickoff Rule to Consider this Off-Season

What's one rule-change in football that could increase player safety, reduce penalties and make a mundane procedure more interesting?

Here's a hint: not too long ago, the line where the ball is placed on the kickoff was moved up. The result was more touchbacks, fewer bone-crushing collisions, fewer game-winning run-backs, and more grumbling in the broadcast booth (and nobody needs more of that). I used to like hearing Collinsworth say 'Whatever they do, they better not kick it to that guy... Oh boy, here we go... Why would you kick a line drive to that guy?'

Ask yourself this. If a 5-yard penalty when assessed on the kickoff means an almost certain touchback, can a 15-yard personal foul be considered a penalty? I would call it more of a benefit - especially for teams that struggle with kickoff returns.

So, my one tiny suggestion is to award 1 point for every ball kicked through the uprights on the kickoff. That will nearly eliminate the automatic touchback that's become so common. And those watching at home will likely race back for the kick, giving advertisers one more crack at them :(

This is something that's already being done (on the point-after-try) and awarding the same number of points. It puts some bite into "the penalty will be assessed on the kickoff" - forcing players to think twice before doing stuff that cause injuries (and might cost them the game). Plus, it gives commentators one more scenario that could break a tie in a few seconds before a game goes to overtime...

So everyone's happy! Right?

1 comment:

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