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Opening Arguments

Extra points

My first thought about this was "No way, leave the damn game alone," but then I decided I was being too reactonary. Everything changes, so why not football?

The NFL is reportedly considering abolishing the extra point after touchdowns as part of its scoring system. 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the NFL Network on Monday that the league's Competition Committee is looking at proposals that would end extra point kicks after touchdowns in favor of a revised scoring system.  

"The extra point is almost automatic," Goodell told the network. "I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (attempts). So it's a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play." 

"There's one proposal in particular that I've heard about," Goodell added. "It's automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eighth point, either by running or passing the ball, so if you fail, you go back to six."

I see his point about the "almost automatic" nature of the extra point. How exciting can it be when there's almost no chance of failure? It should be added, though, that since the option of "going for two" was added, the extra-point(s) strategy has added some excitement to a few close games.

I like the idea of a penalty and the strategic decissions that might involve. Try for an eighth point, but go back to six if you miss it. That would make for some interesting close games, too.

UPDATE: Allahpundit at Hot Air doesn't like the proposed change at all and thinks he has a better idea:

If you want to liven up the PAT, there’s an obvious solution: Move it way, way back. TDs would remain six points but afterward coaches would have a choice. Either go for two from the two-yard line or try a 45-yard kick for the extra point. If your goal is more excitement then you should be increasing the incentive for teams to try two-point conversions by decreasing the incentive for them to kick instead — and if they do kick, you want some real suspense in whether they’ll make it. I’d be all for it, but I realize that the first time a team loses by a point because their kicker missed the PAT by six feet, their fans would be screaming bloody murder and demanding the return of the chip-shot PAT. That’s why we can’t have nice things, America. Discard your childish traditions! Click the image to watch.

Nice idea, too, but I think he's missed the significance of the wind-a-point, lose-a- point gamble on the point-after under the new scheme and how much excitement that could add to the game.

Posted in: Sports, Television