New NFL Kickoff Placement Turns Football Into Series Of Formalities

Every ritual has a point. Even if the the Easter bunny does not put $1 bills in plastic eggs and Texas A&M hasn't joined the SEC, we still go through these motions at appointed times for reasons. 

The NFL's decision to place all kickoffs at the 35-yard line is kind of like this. Kind of.

After more than an hour of preseason activity, our party reports having seen one kickoff actually get returned. Almost all of them are finding the end zone, with too many sailing out of the back. Players line up for the kickoff, the kicker kicks the ball, we observe the kickoff being downed and then the kickoff is over. Everything is made new again.

Here's the thing: skipping kickoffs is a great move. They're the most dangerous plays in a dangerous sport. But the solution isn't to replace them with something that just looks similar to what we've gotten used to. Starting a game with a kickoff, then starting each drive from the 20 or so would speed the game up while accomplishing the same thing as a series of touchbacks. What about onside kicks? Listen, I've thought about this for two minutes, so maybe you should pitch in with a solution.

Are you excited about seeing the fantastic commercial-kickoff-commercial chain, especially if you know the kickoff won't contain any actual football? The National Football League.

The only hope: kick coverage teams will start to assume touchbacks on every kick, giving players like Deji Karim of the Jaguars the chance to run one back. He almost just ran one back! Looking forward to the next kick return already.

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