By Christian Bond
The National Football League is without question the most popular professional sports league in America in 2015. Fanatics love to see their teams play on Thursday, Sunday or Monday. Football rules in America, however I believe its dominance could increase with one subtle tweak. Kick Offs should be a nonexistent factor in the NFL.
Commissioner Roger Goodell receives copious amounts of criticism in regards to protecting National Football League players. The line of scrimmage was moved to the 35 yard line to reduce injuries in 2011.The number of concussions on kickoffs dropped by 40 percent during the 2011 season, and the kickoff return rate fell from 80 to nearly 50 percent.
Kickoffs taking place at the 35 yard line have lead to fewer returns from the opposing teams. Touchbacks occurred on 56 percent (1,185 of 2,110) of kickoffs during there 2014 season. A staggering six touchdowns were scored on those 2,110 kick offs. Kickoffs have evolved from one of the most exciting plays in all of football, to a perfect opportunity to use the bathroom.
With kickoffs removed from the NFL, excitement would be instantaneous after an opponent scores. My idea would be to give the receiving team the ball at the 30 yard line, with three downs to get 10 yards. Rather than seeing a kick returner hide behind a referee after taking a knee in the end zone, you would see offenses trying to answer a touchdown or a field goal by starting a drive in two plays. Urgency would be created to answer the score of their opponent by taking away a down.
It has been documented that the attention span of people have been continually decreasing. The average attention span has dropped from 12 to eight seconds. As a college student, I understand how tough it is to stay focused on projects. Under the current format, it feels like commercials are interrupted by kickoffs that lead to touchbacks. Removing them would help teens and young adults stay focused not he product the NFL puts on display.
Kicking out kickoffs would be the best move the NFL could make. Getting rid of the play would increase player safety, remove some monotony from the game and with a couple rule changes, could create massive amounts of excitement. Kicking the football to the opposing team should no longer be a part of the National Football League.