BLOG: Take the Kicking Game Out of Football? Poppycock! - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

BLOG: Take the Kicking Game Out of Football? Poppycock!

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Central Valley kicker Austin Rehkow verbally committed to the University of Idaho, according to his father (Photo: KHQ) Central Valley kicker Austin Rehkow verbally committed to the University of Idaho, according to his father (Photo: KHQ)

Central Valley kicker Austin Rehkow made national headlines when he hit a 67-yard field goal last fall. And deservedly so. The high school senior has verbally committed to playing at the next level at Idaho and is expected to sign a letter of intent next week on national signing day.

But consider this: at least one nationally-known columnist says kicking should be booted out of the game. No field goals or extra points in football? Yep, that's what he is saying.

Skip Bayless writes:

"Field-goal kicking is wildly exciting for all the wrong reasons. We regularly interrupt games to go for a ride on the equivalent of Disney's stomach-in-throat Tower of Terror. The scariest words for any fan are "wide right" or "wide left." Or, in the case of Buffalo Bills fans, "Scott Norwood."

This is why I have long proposed a change that will never, ever happen because it makes too much sense. Give place-kicking the boot."

Bayless proposes requiring two-point conversions after touchdowns. And if a team's offense stalls on the opposition's 25-yard line? Well, too bad. Either go for it or – gasp – punt. He says getting rid of place-kicking will not happen because it makes too much sense.

I disagree with Bayless, for the record. Football isn't all about the touchdown. It's not all about the bone crushing tackle either. It definitely takes talent to kick a strange-shaped ball through two poles from 10, 25 or 67-yards away. It takes skill. It takes strength. It takes concentration. It takes practice – lots and lots of practice. All that should be appreciated, not mocked or ignored.

Additionally, the kicking game in football provides drama. There is excitement in knowing a field goal or extra point could determine the outcome of a game. Take the kicking game away and you take away a good portion of the suspense out of the contest.

Now…. Kickoffs? We can talk about that. Just leave field goal kickers like Austin Rehkow alone – for the love of the game, man!

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