if you're gonna' kick ... kick!
Watching the Big Tuna cringe before the Gramitica field goal with 6 seconds remaining caused me to muse about why the kicking element was so ... out of touch with the rest of the game. It's like something added on at the last minute by the rules committee. Of course ... I would have done it ...
A Different Way
I would have the field goal count for a point total dependent on the length of the completed kick. In my game you get
You get to pick your distance after a touchdown of course. If you opt to go for 3, the refs would spot the ball on the 20 and the kicker would punck it form about the 25. That would make an average NFL field goal for three points. For a point after touchdown, if you fail, the other team gets the ball from the spot of the kick (the 25 in the above case) or opts for a standard kickoff ... either one. Fair enough?
For a failed standard fieldgoal attempt, the other team gets the ball from the spot of the kick ... or ... if there is a runback ... from the point the runner is down.
What are the consequences of such a rules change?
First, nobody will stop near the goal line after a missed 3rd down conversion for a cheap field goal but will go for it on 4th down. Obviously, if you're stopped at the four yard line and it's 4th and goal, you don't want to settle for one stinkin' point. You're gonna' have to go for it because you get 6 points + whatever field goal your kicker can give you reliably ... say ... three points. So, you skip the certain "one point" to take a possible "nine points".
At best, a team behind by 11 points might find itself tied after a single touchdown and a desperation 5-pointer.
The crowd would certainly get into this more than the standard P.A.T. They're boring as hell. I want to see something different and daring. I want to see the first desperation 75 yard field goal in NFL history. It's possible. Some kickers can get it this far in practice ... once in awhile ... when nobody is looking ... but not in a game time crunch. Not yet anyway ...
The time to experiment with rules changes is pre-season. Make a change ... let the fans vent and take it from there. The game (any game) needs to be kept fresh ... and ... screw the freakin' stats. I don't give a crap about stats from bygone ages. Hell, if you pitted the best football team of the '60s against the worst of the '00s ... Vince Lombardi would lose every time anyway. The players are much larger today. Here in Texas, they breed football players like cattle. I saw a herd of linemen out in a pasture off Highway 287 just last year ... they were enormous ... 800 pounders ... with lots of fur.