It’s time the extra point goes away


Zach Hannigan, Staff Writer

Quick, let’s make a bet.

A bet in which the odds of you winning is 99.5 percent and the odds of the other guy winning are around 50.

What’s the point the other guy will ask, “I know what’s going to happen.”

That is exactly the point. Over the past three years, NFL kicker’s have only missed 18 of their combined 3,709 extra point tries. That’s one miss every 200 points, which works out to a 99.5 percent accuracy rate.

So, I ask you now, what’s the point of a play where the outcome is as predictable as the sun rising in the morning.

For a writer like me, who has been as critical of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as anyone, I actually agree with him on this one…sort of.

On Jan. 20, Goodell told the NFL Network that the competition committee is considering getting rid of the extra point.

Now that’s a good idea there, but the revised scoring system that Goodell proposed is ridiculous.

Touchdowns would automatically be worth seven points, and teams would have the option of going for an eight point either by running or passing the ball. However, if they fail, they go back to six.

Wait, you want to punish a team for being more aggressive and making the game exciting? Isn’t that what you wanted when you proposed the scoring change?

While the NFL got one thing right, they failed to get it all right. Here is what I propose:

Make touchdowns worth seven points and make teams go for the eighth. If they don’t get it, they keep their seven points.

It’s a simple idea really, but will make the game much more exciting to watch. It’s leaps and bounds better than the current 45 seconds we waste on waiting for an automatic result of an extra point.

The idea that the extra point shouldn’t change because it is tradition is ridiculous. It has always been the innovators that have ruled football.

It wasn’t until 1940 that the modern quarterback-center exchange became what it is today. it had evolved from the center kicking the ball with his heel back to the quarterback, to rolling the ball back on the ground, to an elevated snap.

It took a stroke of genius from Bears coach George Halas who directed his center to snap the ball to the quarterback standing directly behind him.

As you see, they weren’t afraid of change then, so we shouldn’t be now.

So, how about another bet? Let’s bet on whether your favorite team will convert on going for that eighth point.

It’s not such a gimme anymore, is it? That’s what makes the game of football exciting.