NFL: Roger Goodell Considering End to Kickoffs Is Another Bad Idea

Dean SiemonAnalyst IIDecember 6, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 04:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell greets first responders on the field before a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 4, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game is the first professional sporting event to be held in New Jersey since Superstorm Sandy swept ashore with devastating force.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

According to a report on, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has talked with Rich McKay, the head of the league's competition committee, about the idea of no longer having kickoffs in games.

Goodell and McKay discussed an idea brought up by Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano in which a team, instead of kicking off, would get the ball at its own 30-yard line in a fourth-and-15 situation. The team then would punt the ball away or, to replace an onside kick, could go for it and, if they failed to get a first down, the opposing squad would start with great field position.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of adjusting the game for player safety as more and more awareness is given to concussions and the lingering effects that can last a lifetime.

But I don't agree with removing one of the most exciting parts of a football game. While fans love to see big touchdown runs and amazing catches, the kickoff and punt return always gets people excited when it happens.

This would be like banning players in the NBA from slam dunking or telling baseball players they have to keep the ball in the park.

The league has already limited the excitement of the kickoff game by moving the the kickoff tee from the 30-yard line to the 35.

The report says that in 2010, only 16.4 percent of kickoffs led to touchbacks. Last season, that percentage increased to 43.5.

Over the years, it's good to know that the league does care about their players. But there has to be a line drawn in preventing one of the most popular sports from becoming boring.

At this rate, the NFL will be limited to two-hand touch by 2015. Can't push another player too hard or you get a four-game suspension.

God forbid you give the quarterback a bruise—that will cost you $50,000.

It's called a contact sport for a reason. If players really fear for their safety, then maybe they should go play curling or competitive chess. I'm sure many other people would be willing to step into your place if you don't feel safe.

Some might say that Goodell is the worst commissioner in all of pro sports today, but at least he hasn't had two labor disputes in less than a decade.

Making this rule change would probably put him up there though.