The PAT and You.

The PAT and You.

Rather than talking about the Super Bowl (or lack thereof...), I'm going to focus on the big proposed change the NFL Rules Committee is looking into for the future.  The PAT and what its future should be.  Currently there is a proposal out to get rid of the PAT all together.  Here are the the biggest challenges I see with that change and my breakdowns on those challenges:


-Is a touchdown still going to be worth 6 points or will it be bumped up to 7?

There's talk of making touchdowns worth 7 points if the PAT is elminated.  I like that this preserves the scoring numbers we currently see, but how does this affect any type of extra point?  

-What does this mean for the job security of kickers in the future?

Realistically, kickers are probably the most undervalued members of the team.  They don't have a ton of action in the game and as the facts state, they've gotten so good that what they do is more of a matter of going through the motions than anything.  There's even been speculation that the kicker will eventually be eliminated entirely after it was suggested the kickoff is so dangerous we could potentially do without it.  So is this a step towards eliminating kickers altogether?  I really value the kicker in a game.  Often he's the make it or break it player in a tie.  

-Is there still an extra point(s) option like the 2 point conversion option we currently have?

There's been no formal decision about this but it looks like the suggestion of the commitee is to have TD's worth 7 and then if you go for the extra point (that would resemble the 2 point conversion we have now) you would be awarded 8 points.  If you missed, you get 6 points.  Obviously the 2 point conversion is less of a guarantee than a PAT so this does add a level of excitement to the scoring game.  I do like that it makes earning those points a lot harder than the pretty much guaranteed PAT.  

-Does this change the nature of the game too much?

Football is an American tradition.  In it's basic form, not a lot of the fundamentals have changed from when the game was first played.  So are we changing the game too much?  Are we taking away a time honored tradition and opening the doors to the possibility of future big changes?  I'm a huge fan of tradition, so this is my biggest point of contention with the rule change.  This is the part I really struggle with because I do want to see more excitment than the PAT, but I don't want to see this open up so many changes that we don't stick to the root of the sport.

The biggest argument for the change is that kickers have become too good.  Since 2004, the success rate for extra points is 99%.  Extra points just aren't exciting anymore.  On the other hand, the biggest feelings towards keeping the PAT are that its a tradition that's been in football since the very early days and its not causing any harm nor taking a lot of time, so let the tradition continue. 

Obviously there are a lot of questions and the NFL is purely in the preliminary stages of exploring the option, but what do you think?  I'm not quite sure how strongly I feel either way, so I'd love to hear your arguments!  


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