Dear NFL: Go ahead and get rid of the kickoff
You win, NFL. You’ve been gradually chipping away at the kickoff -- dubbed for years now the most dangerous play in the game -- with the goal of making it easier for everyone to deal with the elimination of the kickoff when it eventually happens. Perhaps the hope was that the sense of inevitability would grow to the point that the calls for the end of the kickoff would come from the outside.
Regardless, and to quote Schwartz when Flick was hesitating to touch his tongue on the frozen flag pole, “Go on, smartass, and do it.”
Yes, NFL, go ahead and do it. When the owners get together in May, cast 32 votes to eliminate the kickoff for good.
We all know it’s coming. So we can talk about it for the next year or two, while the most dangerous play in the game remains part of the game, or we can just get rid of the damn thing now.
The plan for dealing with the most dangerous play in the game shouldn’t be using it less, it should be using it never. When there’s a dangerous table saw in a machine shop, a responsible foreman doesn’t say, “Use it less.” A responsible foreman says, “Don’t use it at all.”
So do it. Quit talking about it, and do it. Replace with with Greg Sciano’s idea, first floated by Commissioner Goodell in 2012, to give the kicking team the ball at its own 30 yard line, facing fourth and 15. Punt the ball (a far less dangerous play, since players aren’t running directly at each other at full speed before impact), go for it, or run a fake punt.
It’s going to happen sooner or later. Make it happen sooner, so we can all quit wondering when it’s finally going to happen.