Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don’t Ditch the Kick Just Yet, or How to Improve the NFL PAT

The PAT is apparently automatic and boring, which has led Roger Goodell to suggest the league’s competition committee consider abolishing the PAT altogether. “You want to add excitement with every play,” Goodell recently told the NFL Network.

I don’t disagree with adding excitement, Roger. After all, no fan wants to watch an NFL player do something they feel they are capable of doing. However, pushing the two-point conversion by subtracting the PAT option is neither that innovative nor that creative of a way to solve this. It’s a lukewarm alternative from what we have now, as have been most of the suggestions I’ve heard on sports talk radio.

So how do we keep the tradition of the PAT and kickers while getting radical at the same time? I’ll tell you:

Adjustable goal posts.

I’m serious.

According to the NFL rules, “The goal posts must be 18 feet, 6 inches wide.” We’ve already established there’s nothing impressive about a chip-shot PAT through a space as wide as an industrial shipping container. What WOULD make it interesting is if that space was narrowed to, say, 6 feet, 2 inches – exactly one-third of the original goal post width.

Now we’re talking some serious kicker skill involved. A confined kick like this is no longer a gimme. In fact, I’d say the success rate would be closer to 60% than 100%. Now, Roger, we’re talking about a legitimate dilemma whether to attempt the PAT or go for two. And guess what – it’s now exciting either way.

We could even take this concept of adjustable goal posts one step further and apply it to field goals as well. For instance, FG attempts 25 yards and under retain the suggested PAT goal post width of 6’ 2”. For FG attempts 26-40 yards, double that to 12 ft. 4 in., and anything longer gets the max/current goal post width of 18’ 6”. By doing so, you’ve made the kicking game more exciting and given teams a LOT more to think about on 4th down in the enemy’s territory.

Give it some thought and your reaction in the comments – good or bad – and tell me WHY.

Friday, January 3, 2014

5 Tips to Stay Warm During the Packers Game

Sunday's home playoff matchup against the 49ers is expected to be one of the coldest games of all time. But don't let the weather keep you down. Here's five ways you can stay warm and better enjoy the Packers' win.

1. Dress Appropriately. We’re talking fleece-lined denim on top of fleece-lined denim (I’m sure Fleet Farm has an entire department for this), leg warmers, even mittens from kittens if necessary – whatever you can get your hands on. Keeping warm not a fashion contest, people, so don’t treat it like one.
Clark Griswald improvised. So can you.
2. Cuddling. What could bring two Packer fans closer together than in the warm embrace that lasts over three hours in the freezing cold of Lambeau Field? I recommend setting the ground rules early. If Larry in section 112 foresees issues with playing footsie, maybe Bill in 110 won’t. Take your time finding your perfect cuddle match – it’ll make the game that much more enjoyable for you both. And for those seamstress savants out there, it’s not too late to sew two snowmobile outfits together before Sunday…

3. One Word: Superhydrophics. It’s no secret if you get wet in below-freezing conditions, hypothermia can set in immediately. And since hypothermia’s symptoms include sleepiness, clumsiness and even slurred speech, you don't want to be mistaken for a drunken fan instead of one who needs immediate medical attention. Before you arrive, spray yourself from head to toe with a superhydrophic coating. You’ll not only stay amazingly dry despite nature’s best efforts, but you can also charge $1 every time someone wants to watch nacho cheese slide off your back.

4. Move! Imagine being in a literal frozen tundra sitting on a block of ice. That’s pretty much EXACTLY the experience of watching a game on Lambeau’s metal benches in winter. Try high-fiving your entire row when Sam Shields picks off Kaepernick for the second time, or take a loop around the stadium and prance the entire way. Moving around is one of the easiest ways to generate body heat, and you’re only limited by your imagination. (Continuous shivering does not count.)

5. Bowel Play. If you are truly in a dire, last-resort situation, call your best friend and have him ride to you on his tauntaun. Once they arrive and the tauntaun subsequently keels over and perishes, you have permission to slice open its body and spread the warm bowels upon you until an appropriate shelter can be made. It may smell bad, but it’ll keep you warm.
Stay toasty, Packer fans.
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