by Eric Fulton
The point after touchdown is easily the least exciting play in all of football. You have a kicker trying to score just one point for their team. It is a 20-yard kick that they practice just about every single day. Is there pressure? Not from that close to the end zone. No way.
The National Football League (NFL) has decided to change extra points this season to give the game more action packed drama. I guess they figured if kickers can kick an easy 20-yard extra point then let’s try about a 30-plus yard extra point.
Well, since the league is moving back the extra point, teams are going to go for the two-point conversion more often. The Pittsburgh Steelers seem to be the first team to adopt this new strategy, but more are likely to tinker with it in the future. Ideas go out the window with the adoption of kicking the extra point. Picture this, a kicker in a cold in December with a team playing a meaningful game missing the extra point because it was from 33 yards instead of the more traditional 20-yard field goal.
This new extra point rule is bringing excitement to the NFL. Maybe a two-point conversion will help determine who wins the game, now? Let’s face it, I feel sometimes NFL games and even football in general is boring. Not all of football is boring, but to be fair, the extra point from the two-yard line is boring. Maybe college football should adopt the same thing the NFL is doing. Besides, I have seen fake field goal attempts in college football when the scoring sets up a unique formation after the touchdown. Basically, it fools everyone from the opposing team to the fans.
Then again, an extra point from the two-yard line is never really an easy shot. Much like golf when the golfer has to angle a short putt, placekickers have to make sure the long snapper snaps the ball at the right angle. Then the holder must hold it in a perfect position with the laces out and finally the kicker has to make sure he gets the right angle in order to make sure things are good.
I have seen a few extra points that have been missed at 20 yards. Take about a couple of weeks ago when University of Texas kicker Nick Rose missed an extra point from 20 yards preventing the Longhorns to tie the game against the University of California. I felt bad for Rose, but he still should have made the kick. Yes, a kicker can miss a PAT, but still paid or not, the point has to be made.
So having the extra point moved back in the NFL makes watching the game even more interesting. It should be fun to watch from here on in. How much of an effect will moving the extra point have in games? I think close games will be determined, but most of the kickers can do this in their sleep. They should not have problem at all. Well, maybe a few will have a problem.