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The Lake News Online
  • What does Roger Goodell have against kickers, anyway?

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  • One of the big topics around the NFL's water-cooler this week is the issue of the extra point.
    Actually, it's not really an issue-it's more of one prominent member of the NFL organization opening his mouth and spewing whatever ideas and opinions he has to anyone who will listen.
    This week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke out about changing the extra points in the NFL, saying that the extra point kicks are too automatic.
    Umm....duh?
    It's the extra point. It's the gimme. That's why coaches do that instead of going for two every time.
    But, thankfully, he has a proposition, a plan to fix the game...which I expect will be looked on as favorably as the other changes made under this commissioner.
    His suggestion is not entirely without merit. Instead of kicking the extra point for the seventh point, Goodell suggests we make a touchdown worth seven points. After scoring, teams are given the option to go for an extra point, which will give them eight points. The catch? If you fail to convert, you lose a point.
    It's an odds game, Commish. How often do coaches go for two points these days?
    Well, in 2013, NFL teams attempted 69 two-point conversions.
    They converted 33 of those attempts, just less than 50 percent.
    Like I said, it's an odds game.
    Why would a coach take a shot at your new scheme, Mr. Goodell? They rarely utilize the two-point conversion scheme now, and sure, they can get eight points....or six.
    Coaches are going to stick with the seven points. They only play the odds when they have to.
    In short, Mr. Goodell, what you're proposing is the elimination of the extra point.
    Maybe, for safety's sake, we should just let the extra point be decided by a coin toss.
    "No players were harmed during this extra point."
    Give me a break. What you're suggesting will not change the fact that coaches don't risk the two-point conversion. Instead, we're just cutting a play from the game. Maybe those few seconds will be enough to allow for a kickoff return at the end of the game, but my point is that this is all about making the game exciting for fans, right?
    Your suggestion does not force these teams to take the risk for eight points.
    This is the same guy who was in charge during the player lockout. The guy who changed the kickoff rules and the QB protection rules, a.k.a "The Brady Rule". The commissioner in charge during the time of the replacement referees.
    Page 2 of 2 - And I refuse to listen to anyone who thinks the commissioner did an excellent job in that position. He helped drag out a process that ended with a PR nightmare and the aptly named "Fail Mary".
    This is the commissioner who, at one point, had an approval rating of 39 percent amongst NFL players.
    The New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees stated last December that "Right now the league office and commissioner Goodell have little to no credibility with players."
    Goodell's handling of the Bountygate scandal was less than satisfactory, as he suspended four players with little evidence. He's been fairly steady in handing out fines since taking over, and it's been said he lets his emotions get the better of him at times during the handing out of these suspensions and fines.
    This is not a guy concerned about the history of the game.
    This is a man who wants to be remembered.
    I get it, I do. Who wouldn't want to be remembered in some aspect of history? No one wants to think that they will be forgotten long after they have passed on.
    But this isn't about you, Roger.
    I don't claim to know everything about football. But I do know that there a number of fans, including myself, that are tired of you trying to change the game.
    If I suggested playing in ballet apparel would increase ratings, would you have to consider that?
    I respect what you have done for the safety of players in this game, and the fact that football has flourished under your reign.
    You've been called a dictator, Mr. Goodell, and you have a flair for the dramatic and temper to go with it. But when those fans boo you again at the NFL Draft this year, I hope you remember why they are, think of your shortcomings and use that to be the best possible commissioner you can. A good leader knows when to listen to his advisors, and a good CEO knows to leave his emotions out of the decision-making process.
    In the end, the game needs the fans. Listen to them, or see yourself with the same approval ratings as the U.S. Congress. Do not actively engage yourself in disconnecting from the people.
    Stop tinkering, Mr. Commissioner, or we'll eventually be left with just a shell of the game we love.
    In short, I'll say the same phrase that my grandfather used to say all of the time:
    If it ain't broke, it don't need no fixing.

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