NFL commissioner Roger Goodell makes a good case about booting the extra point

The extra point's time has passed in the NFL. Maybe not in the college game. Definitely not in high school ball. But in the NFL, it is about as exciting as a Bill Belichick press conference.
by Jenni Carlson Published: January 24, 2014

photo - FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater (5) kicks an extra point as Broncos punter Britton Colquitt (4) holds during the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in Denver. NFL Commissions Roger Goodell doesn't want to stand pat with the PAT. He's suggesting potential changes in the extra point that, well, might have some legs.(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2014, file photo, Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater (5) kicks an extra point as Broncos punter Britton Colquitt (4) holds during the fourth quarter of an AFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in Denver. NFL Commissions Roger Goodell doesn't want to stand pat with the PAT. He's suggesting potential changes in the extra point that, well, might have some legs.(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is thinking about giving the boot to the extra point.

Can I help limber up his leg?

Talking earlier this week on the NFL Network, the commish floated the idea of abolishing the extra point. It's become almost automatic, and as a result, it's become exceptionally boring.

“And you want to add excitement,” Goodell said.

Hear, hear!

The extra point's time has passed in the NFL. Maybe not in the college game. Definitely not in high school ball. But in the NFL, it is about as exciting as a Bill Belichick press conference.

During the 2013 regular season, NFL teams attempted a total of 1,267 extra points. Only five were missed. I'm sure those five plays were dramatic, but if you get one thrilling play out of every 253 attempts, that isn't nearly enough.

That's a waste of time.

The truth is, the extra point came about in a different era. Football scoring as we now know it came about, for the most part, in 1912. The sport decided that a touchdown would be worth six points and the point after touchdown would be worth one. Then — as well as when the NFL came about eight years later — the kicker was likely to be a position player who kicked because, well, he was the best of a team full of bad options. And that meant the extra point was anything but automatic.

It was an adventure.

But kickers who look more like Beetle Bailey have given way to ones like Dan Bailey, and they simply do not miss 20-yard chip shots.

Now, college and high school kickers are a different story. Major-college kickers as a group are close to being as automatic as NFL kickers, so they might consider a change to the extra point at college football's highest level. But kickers at the lower college levels and in the high school ranks? Those guys as a group are not nearly as refined, so the extra point is still interesting, unlike the NFL.

So, what is football to do?

Goodell offered up this solution: make a touchdown worth seven points, then teams can decide whether to attempt what is now a two-point conversion. If they make it, they get two points. If they don't, they have a point taken away.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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