I understand that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to make his product as exciting as possible, I really do. He helps oversee one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. The problem is he keeps trying to come up with ways to change up the game for the sake of more thrills. The recently-proposed extra point overhaul is a prime example. Here’s a suggestion: Rather than mess with the league’s PAT system, look to college football for the answer.
It’s a shocking idea, I know. The League is supposed to be the innovator. EA Sports’ NCAA Football franchise was essentially a watered down version of the previous year’s Madden product. Rather than moving the extra point attempt back or eliminating it all together, the college game had the proper annihilation of ties down for years.
Here’s a quick recap for those not familiar with how this goes. The winner of a coin toss determines whether or not they want to play offense or defense first. The loser chooses which end zone will be in play. The ball is placed at the opponent’s 25-yard line. No kickoffs, no game clock, no fuss, no muss.
Each team has a chance to best the other in standard play, nice and equal. If the teams are still knotted up after two series, they must go for two points after every touchdown scored. There will be a winner, by golly. Surely this sounds entertaining to NFL fans.
Can’t do it? I’m supposed to believe that the Arkansas Razorbacks and Mississippi Rebels can go seven overtimes, but the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers can’t? Arkansas actually did it twice, the second time against the Kentucky Wildcats. The San Francisco 49ers aren’t up to the challenge?
Now, I’m not averse to compromise. If Mr. Goodell and the NFL would implement college football’s overtime rule and the longer extra point, I could certainly live with that. However, it’s unnecessary. Give it a trial run like FBS football did with the targeting rule that caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth (yes, I was in on that). One year is all I ask. If the fans are sending hate e-mails and the players just can’t hack it, so be it.
I’d like to think that professional athletes that request $18 million per year could handle such situations and earn those gigantic paychecks. Then again, maybe they simply can’t handle the game rookies play.