Picture if you will…
January 3rd 2016.
Lions at Bears.
John Fox has rejuvenated the Bears franchise and led them to a 9-6 record. A win, at home, against the lowly Detroit Lions will send them into the postseason.
Lions lead 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter. The heavens open. Snow. Not just snow. A blizzard. Both teams struggle to move the ball. The game seems lost. With 1:07 remaining, Cutler hands the ball to Forte at midfield. A hole opens! Forte slips! Forte slides! End zone! Touchdown! Overtime!
Or not. Because now, according to the new rules of the NFL, in the howling winds off the lake, with snow piled an inch and a half high off the field, the Bears must now make a 32-yard field goal to enter the postseason.
Forget the off-field stuff. The NFL has a million on-field problems. Pass interference and illegal contact have become joke calls, influencing the outcome of way too many games. Players don’t know what is and what is not a personal foul. The referees don’t know what is and what is not a catch. “Football move” has become the NFL’s “neighborhood play” – a completely arbitrary ruling that leaves fans in barrooms across the country shrugging their shoulders with a “who the fuck knows” dismissiveness. Those same fans watch NFL action with a delay button, expecting every great moment from their team to be suffocated by the arrival of a tiny yellow rag.
And yet Uncle Roger and the boys have fixed their efforts on the extra point! You know the extra point? That’s the thing that happens between the barstool and the toilet. That’s the thing that gives you a chance to get yourself another beer. That’s the thing that no fan in the history of the NFL has ever complained about.
Didn’t we all want kickers to be more important? Didn’t we all want games to possibly be decided by a play that is ALREADY described as “extra”? Of course we did!
I understand the counter argument. The NFL simply reduced a 99% play to a 94% play. But the latter number is clearly going to decrease with the shear number of attempts. If the NFL were trying to encourage teams to go for the two-point conversion, why not move the conversion line of scrimmage to the one as a correlating move?
The answer is simple: changing the extra point is gimmicky bullshit that doesn’t make the game better or more interesting. Touchdowns aren’t hard enough to score, you know. Now you have to jump through a hoop at the end to confirm it. If the NFL didn’t want the extra point anymore, they should have just eliminated it from action. But that would have far too easy and wise for a league run by buffoons.