Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Was the PAT really that bad?

Yesterday, the NFL announced that the Point-After Try (PAT, extra point) was changing. Until now, teams would get the ball at the 2-yard line after a touchdown, and could decide if they wanted to try to kick it through the goal posts for an extra point, or try to push the ball into the end zone for 2 points (the two-point conversion was introduced to the NFL in 1994). About 99% of PATs were converted, meaning that the vast majority of touchdowns led to a team scoring 7 points. That's one point more than two field goals. Great.

Over the past few years, there has been an outcry about the extra point. IT'S TOO EASY! IT'S NOT EXCITING! WE MUST BE ENTERTAINED! Roger Goodell got on board with the idea of changing the extra point. It's a vestige of old football, where kickers couldn't kick. It's downright PROBLEMATIC. And now, the extra point is going to be snapped from 15 yards away instead of 2, while two-point conversions are still going to be from the two-yard line.

Ironic nerdy blog nerds are celebrating this new rule as a huge win for the NFL, finally disposing of the gimme extra point. But really, what was so bad about this? And why was this change really needed?