Monday, December 01, 2008

Much more important things to tackle -- the dancing punter

No doubt a few people are worried about a political crisis, but there are other important matters today.

Namely, getting the conceded safety out of Canadian football. Three-down devotees know the drill. A team is backed up inside its own 20-yard line on third down and Sudbury (fist jab: Tim Micallef). Instead of kicking it away and setting the other team with a short field, the punter takes the snap, backpedals, backpedals, backpedals, until he's forced to either slide to the ground or step out of bounds -- the gridiron equivalent of watching grass grow. And no one seems too nonplussed about why teams get away with this non-play instead of actually playing football.

The punishment, having to kick off from the 30-yard line, the same as after a regular scoring play, or having the other team take possession at its 35-yard line, doesn't fit the crime. Rob Vanstone at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix had a great idea that should be looked at:
"Translation: Boring! To create a disincentive, require any team that concedes a safety to kick off from its 20-yard line. Or give the other team two points and possession at midfield.
Vanstone's piece is worth a read -- he also argues for the elimination of the extra-point kick.

The CFL can stand to jazz up its game and encourage more punt returns and scoring. The Grey Cup was a well-played game, with less than 100 yards in penalties between Calgary and Montreal, but it was also a boring field-goal battle. Canadians would like a return to the razzle-dazzle CFL, along with the return of a stable government. They just have a lot better chance of getting the first one.

Handy hints to improve the CFL game (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

No comments: