NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a good point about a part of pro football that has become pointless: He thinks it’s time to get rid of the extra point.
We’ll cheer for that. For the uninitiated, the extra point is the ritual of kicking the ball 20 yards through the goal posts following a touchdown. It adds 1 point to the 6-point touchdown. Today’s highly efficient kickers almost never miss. They hit it 99 times out of 100.
The extra point reflects football’s origins in rugby. And at the high school level and even in some college games, it’s not a sure thing. But at the NFL level where even field goals inside 30 yards are nearly automatic, the extra point has become extra boring.
Goodell has an alternative: Make the touchdown worth 7 points. Then give teams the option of going for another point by running or completing a pass into the end zone from 2 yards out. If the effort succeeds, it’s worth a point; if it fails, it costs a point.
This idea adds drama to a part of the game that lacks any. It might also bring back more of the old-fashioned, short running game and encourage cautious coaches to take a chance on fourth down and short yardage.
This simple change wouldn’t be easy for the tradition-bound NFL, initials some translate into No Fun League. But the proposal is expected to come up at league meetings in March and – like almost every extra point kick – it should go through.