Extra points are tedious and dull. Add in commercial breaks (commercial) for the (commercial) review (commercial) then the XP (commercial) and it's a painful 10 minute (commercials over) ordeal.
The discussion about their vanquishment offers everyone who participates in the football community an opportunity to showcase their inventiveness.
You may think that the Commissioner is lying through his teeth when it comes to the authenticity of his motives behind his player safety crusade, but he's on the same page as just about every NFL fan when it comes to extra points.
"The extra point is almost automatic," Goodell said. "I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (attempts). So it's a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play."
Twenty four owners must agree on any rule change, per PFT. Those 24 men need to not only agree to abolish the extra point play as it currently stands, but, they must agree on a scenario that replaces it. Twelve could say just ditch it entirely and move on. Twelve more could offer something abstract that we'll touch on in a moment. The final eight may say leave it as is. As in favor as many are about the unnecessary nature XP's, before there are changes, there's plenty to approve.
With additional excitement comes additional strategy. I do wonder whether that additional strategy may have some, or all of the conservative minded coaches pleading with owners that some of the ideas bandied around to replace the extra point will make their lives mathematically miserable.
If the game does install some truly abstract XP replacement plan, it could allow more forward minded owners and coaches the opportunity to employ a sabermetrically sound football guru to quickly evaluate the options.
'What do you do for a living?' 'I'm an NFL GDRAM.' Game Day Risk Assessment Manager. Damn. That's almost as difficult as Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Deadspin offers some ideas to replace the play. If you've followed the creative XP discourse then these won't be too foreign to you.
- Kick the XP from where the ball is scored.
- Move the LOS back. I like this one and want to add to it.
- Make the player who scored the TD kick the XP. Probably the most 'entertaining' of many of the submissions. It wouldn't ever get approved, but it sure would make kickers more of a fantasy option for scoring actual touchdowns! See. It won't happen. Unless your running back happens to be your primary kicker as well.
Disclaimer: I read something like this somewhere, and massaged it a little more, but by no means is this my own personal creation. There will also be much better, and possibly more entertaining and safer ideas offered than mine.
Score a touchdown. You get 6 points.
You now have two options A. Kick an (easy) XP from the 10 yard line B. Go for two from the 1 yard line. I'm amenable to adjusting those in different combinations with the 15 and 2 yard lines, but I think by putting the ball on the 1, it compels teams to eschew something that isn't much more difficult than where the XP is now.
I also want to leave it at the 10 because of the other facet to this plan.
Much like in fantasy football, I want to assign different point values to different lengths of field goals.
Inside 29 yards on a field goal attempt is 1 point.
30-39 yards is 2 points.
40-49 yards is 3 points.
50-59 is 4(!) points.
60+ is 5 points. Kicker may kill one another to play half their games in Denver.
I realize I said simply adding strategy to whatever the extra point play will make things far more complex for typically conservative (though not amongst the 4 coaches this past Sunday) head coaches. With my 'fantasy' field goal scheme a whole 'nother layer of strategy and decision making will be involved.
Excuse me for expecting a highly paid NFL head coach to be smart enough to digest something that's certainly a bit of a mathetical challenge, but well below calculus skills.
I can't even illustrate an example scenario because of radical the scores in the league might become.
23-20. 28-24. 35-24 and the rest of the conventional NFL scores would become obsolete.
With my quirky plan, an NFL game could conceivably end 5-1.
I think for once, it doesn't HAVE to be MY idea, so I look forward to the discussion about just what to do with extra points in the NFL.