NFL Smarts and Complete Stupidity: 43 Yard Extra Points and Policing The N-Word

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm by

The NFL certainly knows how to keep fan interest piqued in the offseason.  Besides the combine, the draft, and all the free agency stuff going on, the NFL is constantly tinkering with rule changes.  This offseason, the extra point and the dreaded N-Word have become the targets of Roger Goodell and his football police cronies.  Evidently the league is toying with the idea of making the extra point a 43 yard attempt  for kickers. The NFL is also discussing a rule that would make uttering the N-Word a 15 yard penalty.  Both changes are pretty drastic, but for obviously very different reasons.

A 43-Yard Extra Point

For whatever reason the NFL seems intent on abolishing the extra point kick.  But instead of cutting it out of the game altogether, the NFL is toying with the idea of kicking the extra point from the 25 yard line, which would make the extra point a 43 yard attempt.  Currently, the XP is a 20 yard attempt that is pretty much an automatic point.  Kickers converted 99.6% of them last season.  In contrast, since 2010, kickers only made 78.3% of 43 yard field goals.  This is a huge difference, and a change would directly affect team strategy and competition.  In essence, it looks like the NFL wants teams to constantly go for two.  Given this yardage difference, teams will definitely go for two a lot more.  This adds a lot of drama and coaching strategy to the mix.  It also places a hell of a lot more importance on the kicking game.  Good kickers will command even more attention and money, as extra points will become more and more precious.

But precious or not, if we look at the numbers under the 43 yard kick scenario, teams would be almost foolish to kick the extra point in most situations.  With a  50.5% success rate on two point conversions in the NFL since 2010, the risk/reward greatly favors going for two.  For example, if you score 100 touchdowns and kick the extra point every time you will have scored 78 extra points since kickers have made 78.3% of field goals.  If you go for two every time after those 100 touchdowns, you would score 101 points with the 50.5% success rate in two point conversions.  This statistic would essentially negate the extra point, with exceptions being situational.  (Such as when a touchdown ties or puts a team at a one point deficit. Kickers may also kick more extra points on teams with crappy offenses and excellent kickers on the roster.)

Either way, this rule would add even more drama to an already dramatic game.  The rule change is definitely worth a try, and it beats abolishing the extra point for altogether.

It also adds an interesting element to NFL gambling.  Block pools become fairer with the odds of hitting numbers other than 3, 7, and 0 increasing.  The change would also wreak havoc with lines makers and gamblers as common point differentials like 3 and 7 get busted wide open.  My guess is that it would initially favor the bettors as the odds makers try to get the lines right.  But that of course wouldn’t last long.

So, Roger Goodell, full steam ahead on this rule change.


The N-Word Rule

Censorship is always a very dangerous thing and now the NFL is trying to censor what a player can and can’t say on the field.  The N-Word’s utterance, polarizing and controversial as it is,  is now being discussed as a 15 yard penalty, which is akin to a personal foul.  Drop an N-Bomb and it would be 15 yards for the other team, a huge penalty.  Mind you, this rule pays no attention to context or intent, just the word itself.

This may be the stupidest thing the NFL has ever discussed.  To single out a word to make illegal on the field, especially one with two different meanings depending on context, is foolish and ridiculous.

For the record, I am white, but what does that really matter?   Whether I’m socially allowed to say the word or not is meaningless in this debate because whether I am “allowed” to say it or not has nothing to do with understanding the context in which a word is used by others.  If the word is used in certain circles as a term of camaraderie, friendship, and affection, who is anyone to judge, white or black?  Yes, the word means and was created to mean ugly and racist things, but in language meanings of words change over time, and if folks have flipped the script on the N-Word, so be it.  If some people choose to use it in this new way, that’s their business.  If people choose not to use it at all, that is their decision as well.  But to censor a group of folks for their use of a word, especially a word with an evolving meaning, is as un-American as it gets.

Which brings us to the next point. Richard Sherman pointed out in an online interview that the ban on the N-Word may in itself be racist.  “How is that?”, you may ask.  Well, I would answer, “who would get penalized”?  I doubt a bunch of white players are dropping the word during games.  It would be almost exclusively black players who would be penalized.  And besides, if these players are using the word in a friendly context, and in essence changing a negative word into a positive one, how can that be a penalty?  Who is some referee to decide how and when and in what context a word can be used.  It’s ridiculous. If the NFL wants to clean up the bad words in an emotionally charged and violent game, it would have to ban cussing altogether.  Singling out this word is foolish and unfair.

The NFL is a violent, emotional, and intellectual place inhabited by driven, Alpha males from diverse backgrounds.  What groups within this group of men say and how they interact with one another is their own business, not the NFL’s.

Roger Goodell, pump the brakes on this one.


field goal stats pulled from:

Richard Sherman interview pulled from:


One Comment

  1. Agree totally. On both points. I think they are both dumb.

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