The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports Columns

January 22, 2014

Rick Teverbaugh: Changes afoot in pro sports

Nothing is more constant these days than changes in professional sports, and apparently that will also be true these next several months in baseball, football and auto racing.

Let's take a look at these one sport at a time.

We'll start with football. Somebody in the NFL has it in for kickers as they become less relevant each year. First the kickoff was nerfed to where there has been talk about doing away with that part of the sport completely.

Now kickers have apparently become so good at kicking extra points that the play could really disappear next season or perhaps the one after that.

Even if that happens, how it will be implemented is open to question. Some believe nothing more should be done than to simply award seven points for a touchdown. Others think an additional point could be awarded for a pass or run into the end zone following the TD. Several also think a failed attempt at the extra point would cause the team to lose a point previously awarded for the touchdown.

Some have suggested the run or pass be mandatory, keeping the TD at 6 points.

I like the idea of making the PAT run or pass optional. Success gains a point and failure costs the team a point. That plan offers some more coaching decisions to be made versus the mandatory plan.

The NFL is also considering adding one more playoff team in each conference. Overall, I would say I am against that plan but I do see one very strong point in favor of that idea — the team with the best record in each conference would be the only one to get a bye that first week. There should be another bonus to having the best record in the regular season, and that sounds like a good one.

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