RUSH: New extra point rule in the National Football League. Have you heard about the rules change? Yeah, it’s a multipronged rule. Oh, speaking of, Frank Deford, you know Frank Deford, the sportswriter for Sports Illustrated and has migrated and done television show appearances. He has been around for many, many moons. He has really come after Tom Brady. Oh, man, he has really come after Tom Brady. And it’s not pretty. We have the audio sound bites coming up.
The football rules change involves the extra point. The conventional wisdom was that the play is too automatic, therefore there’s no drama, there’s no real doubt about the outcome. The extra point is always gonna be made, 99% of the kicks are. And a way they happen, there’s always four minutes of commercials on either side of the extra point. The team scores a touchdown, commercial break. Come back and kick the extra point, commercial break. Come back and kick off, commercial break. And, in all that time, four or five minutes goes by, the extra point is the only game action that’s taking place.
So the wizards of smart say, it’s boring. Everybody knows the kick is gonna be made. We want to make it harder. So they now are gonna back the extra point up to the 15 yard line, which will make it a 30 some odd-yard kick. The extra point is a 27-yard kick, and the 20-yard kick, 20, 22, and this will make 37-yard kick which is gonna take the percentage from 99 to 95 percent likelihood. However, you can go for two. The ball still snapped at the 2 yard line, but you go for two, and in the extra point kick, if it’s missed, you can return it now for a point. Extra point, this is the point now, extra point tries that are failures can be returned by the defending team, they can score a point. Whereas now, an extra point that’s missed, ball’s dead, that’s it.
Same thing on the two-point play. If you try for two points and you fumble or turn it over, the other team can try to go all the way down the field to their end zone and get their own two points. But players are saying, “Wait a minute, for a league that’s so preoccupied with player safety, this has just made the game more dangerous. What are they doing to us?”
RUSH: Now, there are other things happening out there today, folks, that I haven’t gotten into.
The extra point rule the NFL.
Let me just briefly touch on this, because they’re trying to make the game more exciting, and here comes a player now claiming that they’re making the league more dangerous. Dan Carpenter, the kicker for the Buffalo Bills, says, “Being on field goal protection is probably the worst job in football. I know that and all my linemen know that. Well now they just went from a play that there weren’t too many collisions to a play now where not only is the defense coming to take that one point off, but also to add a chance to add two more to their score.
“For a sport that was trying to cut back on collisions, I think that you’re probably just going to add a few more on those situations,” and he’s got a point. The NFL, they’ve done their best to eliminate the kickoff return by moving the kickoff up to the 35 or 40 yard line. That results mostly in touchbacks. But the extra point rule, the real thing about it now is that the defense can score points too if the team trying for the extra point fails to convert, if there’s a turnover of any kind.
That leads to injuries, is the kicker’s point. He says it’s a little ironic. The league here is trying to reduce this stuff. But it really makes sense to do, because if you look at the extra point in the context of a televised football game, here’s what happens: A team scores and one of two things happens. They’ll either go right to the extra point and kick it and then do a commercial break. Sometimes… It’s rare, but sometimes there will even be a little commercial break before the extra point.
So you have a touchdown, and then the extra point, then a commercial break of minimum two minutes. You come back and the kickoff and another commercial break. So you’ve had two plays that literally nothing happened in a span of six minutes: An extra point try and a kickoff that probably did not result in a return. Statistically. So in that six-minute period you’ve got 30 seconds of action. The NFL said (summarized), “We’ve gotta do something about this.
“Because the extra point, such a short kick, it’s automatic. They made 99.5% of ’em.” So to make the play a little bit more dramatic they’ve moved the point try back. It’s gonna effectively be a 37- or 38-yard kick now. I’m getting confused. It’s 32 or 33. As opposed to the kick being essentially a 19- or 20-yard field goal, it’s now gonna be at least 30 yards. So the margin of error is a little tougher, and it makes maybe going for two a little bit more seductive, because they’ll place the ball on the 2 yard line, for a two-point conversion.
I don’t think they’re gonna see any changes, right off the bat. I think coaches get rooted in conventional, habitual behavior, and one point is what they’re familiar with, and I don’t care where that kick comes from. The vast majority of extra point tries are gonna be kicks from whatever the new distance is, and they’ll only go for two when two points really makes a difference, and you don’t know that ’til the second half, and in some cases the fourth quarter. So we’ll see.