Imagine a world without Kickers

luckynewman13's picture
September 9, 2013 at 3:35p
24 Comments

Hello, 11 Dubbers! 

I am an up and coming science fiction writer ("up and coming"= nobody's has ever heard of me) and I would like your opinions. The current project I'm working on is some near-future speculative fiction (Don't worry, the point is coming). I wanted to start my story with a little world building by showing my protagonist, Tyrex, master hacker with a heart of gold (shut up, the name is perfect), watching future football.

This is where I got stuck. What does football look like in the horrible cyber-apocalyptic hellscape that is United States in 2045? After mulling over some silly ideas (Anti-gravity shoes, "Golden Footballs" that enter the game with 2:00 minutes left that double the score both touchdowns and field goals), I finally settled on something pretty boring: get rid of the kickers...sort of.

I want it to be understood, this hurts to write. Mike Nugent and Andy Groom are two of my favorite players of all time, so how could I possibly suggest this? I mean, Cam Johnston is friggin' awesome, right?

Please don't hurt me

 

But let's look at this from a different angle: should a guy that has been playing Australian Rules Football all of his life be able to walk off a plane and start on day 1 for a major college football program like Ohio State? That's kind of weird, right?

Think of all the bulk and SPEEEEEEEEEEEED associated with the SEC. Then look at South Carolina's kicker:

Seems like a safety concern.

 

But what to do? How can punting and kicking be so anachronistic and so essential at the same time? "Those kickers sure don't look like football players, but football without kicking isn't football at all!" Perhaps, I have a solution: Force kickers and punters to become football players. How do we do it?

FIELD GOALS ARE OUT: This is obviously the biggest change. I know purists will probably stop reading right now but I actually agree with Skip Bayless (blecht) on this one. Field goals are just way to much of a wild card in my opinion. Good teams losing because they have bad kickers and vice versa does not make the game more enjoyable for me. I respect that many other people like field goals precisely because of this aspect of the game, but I would personally rather the outcomes be determined by players who see the field for more than a few snaps.

TOUCHDOWNS ARE NOW WORTH 7 POINTS: After the Touchdown, you can choose to go for the 8th point (two-point conversion style). If the conversion fails, you lose a point, making the Touchdown worth 6.

*If we do get rid of kickers, should the ability to score 3 points be replaced somehow? Perhaps we can make touchdowns of 40+ yards worth 9 or 10 points? Would that be too Arena Football?

KICKOFFS AND PUNTS STILL EXIST: Why? That means teams are still going to employ nonathletic kicking specialists, right? Well, here's the twist: If a team elects to punt the ball down field, the player who used his foot to advance the football MUST participate in his team's next offensive OR defensive snap. Example: Got a good punter on your team? He better be good enough to play Defensive Back for the next play. Did the receiving team muff the ball and the punting team recovered? The punter can elect to play the RB (or whatever) on the next snap, or he can elect to wait until his team is on defense again. Their are some pitfalls with this, like the possibility of punters constantly feigning injury to stay off the field.

Kickoffs work much the same way, although I'm open to suggestions on how exactly they would work (from where do teams kick off? Do we change permanently to the punt-off? Could a team choose between the two?).

It's a good bet I won't finish this particular scifi project, seeing as how I'm far more interested in writing about football, but what do you think? Would you be more or less interested if football were played this way? About the same? Perhaps you want to get rid of kickers too but in a completely different way?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Comments

AndyVance's picture

Your headline made Jim Tressel cry. Damn you for that.

Deadly Nuts's picture

Not sure about scoring more points for longer plays but that extra point idea would add an whole new awesome strategy twist to the game.

LEBRON

M Man's picture

Not a problem for Michigan.
Meet Brendan Gibbons (current Michigan PK), former punter and enforcer for West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman:

 

cajunbuckeye's picture

You needed him in that game against App. St.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Earle's picture

I misread the title, thought it said a world without knickers...

FitzBuck's picture

Fun fact:  in John Lennon's song Imagine the verse "imagine there's no kickers, it's easy if you try" was removed last minute.  Yoko thought the kickoff was "beautiful" and convinced John to change the lyric to Heaven.  Thanks again Yoko.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

OSUStu's picture

Is that true??

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Jhesse17's picture

That's not even football. Big no from me.

Jonnferrell's picture

Yes, it would be "footlessball." 

"I'm still hungry." --Brady Hoke

AndyVance's picture

Still better than futbol, amirite?

luckynewman13's picture

I suppose it would be footlessball if you didn't read the part about punts and kickoffs. If you add in field goals, that's an average of what? 3 or 4 extra snaps per game that involve the foot? Are those 3-4 snaps really what make football the game we all enjoy? And can we please be honest, if the game were invented today it would not be called football. Place kickers or no, the game has very little to do with the foot. 

M Man's picture

Didn't this post need a Coach Kerry Coombs joke?

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Roger Goodell wants a world without Kickers and Punters because "It's too dangerous"

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

vitaminB's picture

Well thought out post.  I like the idea.  I would argue to just get rid of the kickoff, since you mostly get touchbacks now anyway.  Instead of an on-side kick, teams have the option of facing a 4th and 20 from their own 20 following every score.

buckskin's picture

The piranhas respectfully disagree.

Hoody Wayes's picture

Imagine a world without this:

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I just realized something: the punter's jersey reads "CAROLIN"

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

luckynewman13's picture

oops, I just realized that too. :/
I promise that was unintentional.

OSUStu's picture

TOUCHDOWNS ARE NOW WORTH 7 POINTS: After the Touchdown, you can choose to go for the 8th point (two-point conversion style). If the conversion fails, you lose a point, making the Touchdown worth 6.

My personal belief is that football is fine the way it is.  However, this is an interesting thought.  I think it would make two-point conversion tries considerably less appealing.  It essentially cuts the potential benefit in half from our current system.  (Actually more than half if you consider the risk that exists of a missed extra point.)
And coaches would have to risk taking points off the board to try for the 8th point.  I think we would only see these tries when it is crucial for playing catch-up rather than the two-point conversions a la modern Ohio State or Oregon...or even the dreaded  "Because I couldn't go for three"-style two-point conversions a la Woody.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

Riggins's picture

Removing kickers and punters means missing out on hilarious moments of sheer terror. I realize you exempted punters. Just wanted to bring this treasure out.

pjtobin's picture

I love this gif. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

pjtobin's picture

I would put money on our Australian kicker in a fist fight with any other kicker playing. And our kicker coming in from Kentucky isn't exactly a small kid. Maybe Coombs is on to something. Get the meanest, toughest, most athletic kids he can to help rip people's fn heads off. Maybe?

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

BenW's picture

I have kind of a problem with kickers/punters being called nonfootball players because they aren't elite athletes. Sure, it's highly unlikely that most of them could play another position on a football team, but couldn't you say the same thing about Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? Specializing is the name of the game. Heck there are OG in the NFL who wouldn't be successful as Centers, 3-4 ILBs who couldn't play inside in a 4-3. That type of argument isn't really productive.
 
On the other hand, really interesting concept for future football. The "golden ball" rule is particularly interesting. The best part of baseball is that the game is never really over. It would be awesome for that to transfer over to football or basketball but you would need to be careful to balance it out so the beginning of the game mattered too, or you'd get an NBA season type scenario when nobody tries til the end of the game.