The NFL seems to have officially taken all of excitement out of kickoffs. They’re not even worth watching any more. It’s like an extended commercial break for the networks. They go to commercials after a touchdown or a field goal, return to show a touchback, and go back to commercials. It was bad enough when something might actually happen on a return. Now, it just adds to about a five minute gap between action.
If we accept that the old kickoffs are gone – and the idea of reducing injuries is at least commendable – I think I have an idea to bring some excitement back to the play. It’s a little “outside the box,” as they say, but keep an open mind. Here’s my suggestion:
· Move the kickoff to the 50 yard line
· Mandate a squib kick – the ball must bounce within 10 yards of where the kick is initiated
· The receiving team cannot lineup anyone inside the hash marks before the 5-yard line and no one from the receiving team can lineup beyond their 35-yard line
· All other kickoff rules, including allowing onside kicks, are the same except the ball has to go 15 yards before the kicking team can recover the ball
It’s got a little bit of a rugby feel to it (wrote the guy whose never watched more than a couple minutes of a rugby), and could probably use some tinkering. Perhaps widening the hash marks would be necessary. But at least it would bring a little action back to the play and retains the idea of eliminating guys getting a 50-yard running start before they crash into their opponent.
Comment with your adjustments – just don’t be the Einstein who tells me it’s nothing but stupid. Trust me, that’s not very original.