NFL kickoffs are on the clock. It’s really not a question of if they’re going to get killed off -but when.

There will come a day when you don’t see kickoffs on Sundays. This Fall, for the first time, touchbacks come out to the 25.

That’s the new rule to sweeten the pot for kick returners to take a knee. And it’s only the beginning.

Where have you gone Eric Metcalf and Devin Hester? The same direction of the California Condor. Endangered species head towards extinction.

Kickoffs are on their last legs. Just ask one of the best guys to ever cover them. Former Special Teams legend Steve Tasker talked to WGR550 in Buffalo and called it a “virtual certainty” that kickoffs will be wiped from the sport. “In the future, we’ll have a generation of people who won’t even know what a kickoff looks like.”

It’s true, we will. And they won’t really care either. We all do. Because we’ve spent our lives watching kickoffs, and a kick return house call is the most exciting play in the sport. But the sport will move on. The forward pass was considered insane when they invented it. I bet back in the day everybody was shaking their heads at the league moving the goalposts back so nobody would kill themselves colliding with one on the goal line.

The game will be just fine without kickoffs – as long as they have an exciting replacement. And the one that keeps getting kicked around is Crazy.

Think its insane talk that the NBA would ever include a 4-pointer? How about 4th and 15 after a touchdown. Tasker advocated the same idea that Roger Goodell was selling almost 4 years ago. Wrap your mind around this: After a TD and an extra point… The scoring team retains the ball at their own 30. They can either PUNT it away… Or run a 4th and 15 play to retain possession. Get the 15 yards- it’s like you got an onside kick.

I’ll be honest- I like it. If you’re really serious about making the game safer, you’re going to have to rip the kickoff return, even if it is one of the most exciting plays in the game. But if you’re going to rip one of the best things about the game, replace it with something else; something cooler than touchbacks coming out to the 25.

So, if losing the kickoff is inevitable, give us something just as lit to fill the adrenaline void. I’m on Team 4th and 15. And as far a I’m concerned they can do it this season.


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