WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced last week the league was considering removing extra points from football, it seemed another annoying tweak to rile fans about the NFL’s endless pursuit to evolve the game.
Upon hearing the news, Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg was incensed, and immediately responded by tweeting his highest superior, Goodell himself, with his condemnation of the notion.
It’s easy to lose sight of how profound an effect one point, and it’s possible removal from the equation, could have on the sport.
Revered former Redskins kicker Mark Moseley put this all in perspective, when discussing the issue with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny on Friday, and offered some alternative modifications, which may ultimately be more realistic.
“I don’t think you can take the extra point out of the game,” he said. “If you do that, you’re gonna change the dynamics of the game because when an extra point is missed, it really throws the coaches off dramatically, because all of a sudden the point ratios don’t match.”
Moseley provided a clear example of how abolishing the extra point could adversely affect a game’s outcome, describing a scenario which is far more common than one might realize.
“You’re changing the dynamics of the game and how [coaches] plan ahead, to either tie that game or win it,” Moseley said. “You hear it all the time now: when they’re eight points behind, they’ve got to have two scores to win. If they’re nine points behind they have to have two scores to win the game.”
“You take away the extra point, all of a sudden it changes, and now you’ve got to have three scores to win the game,” he explained.
Now about those alternatives…
Moseley, who remains to this day the only NFL kicker to ever win an MVP (1982), doesn’t think it’s all that unlikely for the feat to be repeated.
“If they change the rules and put more emphasis on the kicking – which they’ve talked about doing, where those points mean more – because they’re kicking so far back now,” he explained the impetus needed for such an unlikely scenario to occur.
“There’s been talk about changing the value of a field goal,” Moseley said. “To where it’s based on how far back you are.”
“So like beyond 50 yards is 4 points?” Grant asked.
“Yea something like that,” Moseley said. “Or you might even have a team that backs up four yards and they take a knee so it’s a 50-yard instead of a 46-yard field goal, so they can get that four points. It’s gonna get them closer to the points that they need to either tie or win the game at the end.”
This seems a more likely tweak to occur, than outright removing extra points, as this could just be standard posturing by Goodell.
Strictly hypothetically speaking, look at it this way: Goodell’s end game all along is to sell fans on changing the value of field goals.
But fans are already fed up with seemingly never-ending rule changes, can barely keep track of which rules are current, and Goodell knows they’ll likely buck at the proposal of tacking on more points to longer field goals.
So he introduces a more catastrophic change first, which in this exercise, would be the removal of extra points.
Here’s how Goodell ultimately gets his way.
He then offers up the idea of field goal value flexibility as the less egregious alternative — still working under the guise that the NFL needs to add some sort of flare to its special teams game — and suddenly, fans seem more amenable to it.