One of the things NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is trying to do is make the game safer for everyone. Concussions in particular have become one of the biggest issues regarding player safety and for good reason.
That’s why news of Goodell’s idea for removing kickoffs from the game is not surprising to anyone who’s paid attention because he’s spoken on the subject many times before. However, this new idea maybe a little too far out there.
Sean Gregory, who was writing an article on Goodell for Time magazine, passed along the commissioner’s plan to eliminate kickoffs. Per Gregory, one of the options being considered for replacing kickoffs entails giving the ball to the team that would have been kicking off at its own 30, automatically facing a fourth down and 15 yards to go. Team’s would have to make the decision to punt or go for it.
So essentially punts would replace kickoffs and instead of onsides kicks, teams would be forced to go for it in order to keep the ball late in games.
The purpose of eliminating kickoffs is to stop the violent collisions at high speeds, and in doing so, reducing the amount of concussions.
I am all for the safety of the game but if this ever gets voted in by the competition committee, I may lose my mind. Football is a violent game and there is no way to stop the physicality of the players. Despite the new found emphasis on concussions there will still be plenty of big hits and players will still play with aggression because it’s in their nature.
Research shows kickoffs may cause more concussions than any other play in a football and I would like the game to be as safer as well but I do not agree with eliminating them at all. Maybe I’m too much of a traditionalist but I like the way the game is and taking away kickoffs is too drastic of a change.
There are other ways of making kickoffs safer, such as eliminating any wedges or shortening the distance between the players running at each other on kickoffs, but removing them all together makes little sense.
Ironically, the suggestion came from Tampa Bay Buccaneers hard nosed head coach Greg Schiano and Goodell seems to be running with it.
Football is a rough game and eliminating kickoffs is not a good idea. Call me crazy but I like a little tradition with my football.
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