Fox Sports reports that representatives from TIME Magazine recently attended a meeting between Commissioner Goodell and head of the NFL's Competition Committee, Rich McKay.
One of the issues discussed was the danger of kickoff returns.
Apparently, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Coach Greg Schiano has proposed the idea of eliminating the kickoff to reduce the possibility of injuries during these high speed plays.
Goodell seems to have taken a liking to the idea.
His proposal actually sounds like something designed for a youth football league, rather than a sport played by multi-million dollar men. Here is the gist of the radical, proposed change:
The proposal would give teams the ball on their own 30-yard line after a touchdown or a field goal in a fourth and 15 situation. TIME reports that under this proposal, teams can either go for it and try to retain possession or punt. Punting, which experts view as less dangerous than kickoffs, would take the place of kickoffs.
I'm more than a little confused; football is still a contact sport, is it not? And how is a kickoff more violent than a punt? No matter what you do to this game (short of putting flags on the players) it will involve men hitting other men hard.
I have to ask this follow-up question: Roger, how have all of your rule changes made the game slow down and the impacts less violent? Did you really expect these men to tackle more softly? I for one will not watch a game where contact is discouraged, vilified, and penalized.
The kicking game is integral to football. It is exciting, and that is what the fans expect when they fill the stadiums, restaurants, bars, and friends homes on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursday nights.
It is one thing to improve the quality of equipment to minimize the effects of the impacts that are a natural part of all contact sports. It is quite another to attempt the elimination of contact in a contact sport. Most of us would rather watch Rugby than Soccer, where players fall at the slightest contact as if mortally wounded.
Mr. Goodell: Don't turn the game we love into a sissy sport!
I'd love to hear your opinion on this issue. If it concerns you, please comment below.