Hey NFL: Want Extra-Point Excitement? Return to Your Roots
Maybe NFL Commish Roger Goodell wants post-game interviews to be boring, but he's always looking for a way to spice up what happens on the field.
Realizing extra-point tries are catalysts for extended bathroom breaks -- the league's maddening gamecast format of PAT-commercial set-Kickoff-commercial set keeps many a city sewer department on its toes -- Goodell has come to the conclusion that something must be done to keep eyeballs on those high-revenue ads and confine the 'extended' break back to the networks' boring halftime shows, right where God intended.
So he's conjured up one of those brainstorms that makes one wonder if drug testing should be expanded to the highest levels of the NFL.
Goodell wants to turn the extra point into a math exam. Simply put, a touchdown is good for seven points. If the scoring team wants an eighth point, it'll have to pass or run for it. If it fails, a point gets deducted from the touchdown, making it 'only' a six-pointer.
Fans of Nascar and Jeopardy may be good with point deductions as part of the scoring system. Garden variety NFL fans -- including those who chase point spreads and totals -- may not feel the same way. Pepto-Bismol sales may spike. Hit squads may form.
Perhaps there's a better way to keep what's left of the foot in football and still generate more excitement. Perhaps the NFL should return to its roots and adopt what its evolutionary forebear does. Because rugby conversions can be anything but boring.
In rugby, conversion kicks after tries (ie- touchdowns) must be taken from a point perpendicular to where the ball is touched down in the end zone. Thus, if the touchdown occurs in the corner, then the conversion attempt comes from a spot on the field that matches the touchdown spot. This is why rugby players do what they can after a try to touch the ball down as close to the center of the goalposts as they can:
This can make for some very interesting -- and more athletic -- extra-point attempts:
Yes, allowances might have to be made to provide room for a complete offensive line on corner attempts, but that's a minor detail.
Conversions often provide dramatic moments in rugby, and clearly many more than the NFL sees in any given decade of play. Given that the sport is more popular than football on the global stage, this format is already a proven success. And it's odds-on that the number of two-point conversions would increase significantly.
Turning the clock back is easily the most practical way of moving forward. It's the simplest solution to keeping fans in their seats. Those would be the ones that aren't porcelain.