Kazzy Questions #1

SB8-beyondthebets

Esteemed commenter Kolohe asks:

“Will a woman attempt a field goal or an extra point in a regular season game in the NFL sometime within the next 50 years?”

So, basically, he’s asking if the plot of the movie “Necessary Roughness” will come true within our lifetimes.

The answer?  No.  For two primary reasons.

First, the NFL is already exploring ways to eliminate the kickoff.  And while your question was about field goals and extra points, most teams’ placekicker doubles as their kickoff specialist.  So the placekicker role is going to become even more specialized.  For this reason, I’ve got a pet theory that teams are going to move away from kicking specialists.  Roster spots are just too precious to waste on a guy who impacts such a small part of the game.  Just a few years ago, we saw Chad Ochocinco Johnson kick an extra point in a preseason game for the Bengals when their regular kicker was gimpy.  This leads me to believe that we’re going to soon see kickers expected to double up with other roles, and teams likely carrying multiple players capable of such in case of injury.  So rather than carry one FG specialist, I think they might carry two hybrid FG kickers, one who might be their third string safety and another who might be their 5th WR.  This would give them increased roster flexibility and, given the continued evolution of athletes into superathletes seemingly capable of anything, would likely have little consequence on the actual kicking game.

Second, the NFL may not exist in 50 years.

Now, I don’t think it is impossible for it to happen.  Should the NFL exist in 50 years, it likely will include rule changes that might make it more accessible to females.  If I had to put odds on it, I’d say it is 90-10 against, though the odds will probably be slightly better than that in the second half of that 50-year-period.

I should also note that it wouldn’t shock me to learn that there already exist female athletes, most likely soccer players, who would be competent kickers in the NFL.  But as with anyone looking to break barriers, they need to be far more than competent.

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44 thoughts on “Kazzy Questions #1

  1. And second, since you didn’t supply it, is that football, as we know it, will be banned in 50 years, morphed into a much gentler-less-concussing sort of game. And women will not only play it, but they’ll slap the male team-mates butts.

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  2. You musta never rooted for a team with a lousy field goal kicker. A good field goal kicker is worth his weight in gold (or her weight!)

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    • You must have never rooted for a team with no depth on it’s offensive line! A FG kicker might impact a couple of games. Losing 3 starting linemen and having shit backups (a la the 2012 Eagles) ruins your whole season! But that stuff goes unnoticed because they’re not alone on the field with the game on the line.

      Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value stat, which is crude but allows us to compare players across generations and positions, not a single kicker ranks in the top 250 of all time, and likely would fall even lower than that if their lists went that’d far (I’d approximate in the range of 400-500). And even those that rank that “high” do so on the backs of longevity and accruing decently valuable seasons over a couple decades.

      Kickers are worthless.

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      • A great kicker is mostly noticed in their absence. In The NFL they’re all pretty great. Look at the college game, though. The absence of a good kicker is unbelievably frustrating. You lose extra points. You get to the10 yard line and end up with no points. I’m not saying that linemen aren’t important (I was one!) but if a team has list backup linemen, it’s due to a shortage of good linemen and not a shortage of roster spots. I mean, the next lineman The Eagles would have gotten would probably be worse than what they had. Because that’s the guy who didn’t make the team in the first place.

        To me, replacing a field goal kicker with a receiver who can also kick is like replacing a offensive lineman with a defensive lineman to save roster space. You can get away with that at the lower levels but not the NFL where you want specialized people.

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        • I should have been clearer. I’m thinking less “WR who can kick” and more “Kicker who can play WR”. Perhaps he won’t be the #1 kicker, but if he would be the #20 kicker AND everyone else is doing it, such that he only needs to be better than the other Kicker/WRs, you lose nothing relative to your opponents.

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            • Show me some stats that Ks are as valuable as you assert. At the pro level, the best kickers and the worst are separated by a thin margin. Add in the fact that there is very little consistency across seasons, such that the top kicker one year could be the 18th best guy the next year, and they aren’t much of a commodity.

              Ask the Broncos how much they would have liked better safety play in the playoffs. Maybe the starter is still out there, but if he played 5 fewer snaps during the game due to a more competent backup, maybe he has fresher legs and knocks the hail mary down.

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              • Hmmmm….wonder how much the Raven’s liked having Justin Tucker kick that 47 yard field goal to win that game? Probably more than the Bronco’s did I’m thinking.

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                • An NFL kicker is going to make that kick 95% of the time. There is nothing special about Justin Tucker. Which is why he’s just as likely to be gone from the Ravens in three years time as to still be there.

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                  • You are making my point. If as you say we do away with these non-special football players how close to the uprights does a team need to be in order to have their WR make the game winning kick?

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              • Ask the Broncos how much they would have liked better safety play in the playoffs.

                You think if they’d had a third string safety who could also kind of kick field goals that it would have solved that problem?

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            • Stephen Gostkowski, who led the league in points last year (what a worthless stat!) had an Approximate Value (per PFR) of 3. King Dunlap, the Eagles backup tackle, had an AV of 6.

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                • Ok, I looked up this Approximate Value. Dumb! Really have you read the methodology on this? We are going to use a completely different formula figuring out kickers and punters AV? Really? But we are going to use their points scored in order to give the offense better AV’s? Yeah, I don’t get it and from what I read it is one more case of some people having too much time on their hands.

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          • I think you’re underestimating the drop off in kicking talent. The is a rain that teams currently do not try to save roster spots by getting a field goal kicker who can also punt even though the overlap there is greater than with receiver. They take hyper specialized kickers because they’re that important when you don’t have a really good one.

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            • I think the current construct is as you describe. My believe is that we’ll start to see a new construct emerge.

              I could be wrong. It’s more of a reasoned hunch of the future than an objective analysis of the present or inside insight.

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        • Will is really correct at the college level Boise State lost an undefeated season, actually maybe two, due to not have a good kicker. They may also lost a bowl game due to that, but i’m not enough of a geek to actually go the effort of checking. Even if a kicker mean one or two games over the course of a season that is big deal when you only play 16 games.

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      • Then why are the all time leading point leaders in the NFL kickers? Pullllllleeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzz! If your kicker sucks you are doomed to lose the close ones. I reject you statement that kickers are worthless. And really, what is your point about losing three starting linemen and having shit backups. Explain to me how the Eagles not having enough backups when three of their starting linemen got injured means they could do without a kicker and be just fine so that instead of three crap backups they would end up with…..what? Four of them or two craptastic ones and a decent one? Maybe instead of taking a decent kicker off the field, who will score points, they should actually fill their roster spots with quality backups.

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      • Clearly you’ve never watched your team blow the Super Bowl because of your kicker. I have. Or at least I would have if the Super Bowl had been held between 1991 and 1995.

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  3. Thanks for the answer. (#1! w00t!)

    I mostly agree with you, for the main reason that a team can’t afford to ‘waste’ a roster spot. To wit, in any kicking situation, there is a potential that the kicker will need to be a tackler.

    I think the NFL will still exist in 50 years, but beyond that it gets more murky (more than likely gone before a hundred), hence that’s why I picked it as a cutoff. (The NCAA will be totally obliterated from it’s present form well before 2063, though)

    I disagree on the specialist thing though. The trend, in my lifetime at least, is for *increasing* specialization. I seem to remember when I was a kid that one kicker did everything (but the link at the end says I am wrong). In any case, one guy just for long snaps is a thing now, and that guy that used to be the punter for the Vikings (that was for gay marriage) was pretty famous for being highly skilled, but in a niche where he time to play Xbox and write editorials. In any case, the union will eventually get their wish of more roster spots. (it was 45 when I first started attending Washington games).

    (And don’t dis Mark Moseley!)

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    • I should say that I think adding roster spots would be one of the moves that made me think the NFL wasn’t totally full of shit when it comes to player safety. When teams have to line up third string TEs at OL positions because the starters are hurt, you risk injury to them and the players they are protecting. That would make it more likely we see a female.

      And while the trend has been toward specialization, I think we’re starting to see that trend bucked. Super athletic TEs (some of them former basketball players) who can line up across the field are one sign. “Scatbacks” who do more in the passing game than the running game. Athletic QBs who can actually QB. The A-11 offense in high school (illegal in college and the pros). It wouldn’t surprise me if we soon see a league where you can’t really tell the difference between the LB, the WR, the RB, or the QB because they all have similar body types and skill sets and the difference is where they spend their time practicing.

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      • But the trend to more dynamic weapons has to do with schemes, rather than specialization. You still have blocking tight ends and blocking backs. If you look at what happened to the Raiders last year when they had to go to their second string long snapper, it was an absolute disaster. Because of how close NFL teams are to each other, there is going to be significant value in getting that 2-4 extra points a game that a good kicker is worth. I’m not talking about the difference between a great NFL kicker and a mediocre one (which is small), but the difference between a mediocre NFL kicker and a above average college kicker (which is huge).

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      • I agree with you on (only) this point: more players potentially means fewer injuries, and the NFL would be wise to work out some kind of plan. It would mean a drop in quality on each play, though, and a larger payroll. I’m not even sure if players would support it. The union, maybe, but individuals would resist the loss of play time.

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    • I can’t imagine how it got into a graphic, the script, and the teleprompter without the lightbulb going on for one single person. Even if it was confirmed by NTSB spokesman Jack Mioff.

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    • I laughed so hard I set all my housemate’s dogs to barking in perplexity. That news clip has to be the final culmination of hundreds of millions of juvenile pranks over countless decades, all hoping to cause a bunch of serious adults on TV to make such an epic fish up. I thought our society would be radically transformed by last night’s airing of Sharknado on SyFy, but now I realize that it was only the beginning, and it will probably just be remembered as the random show on TV the night before The Asiana Crew Names was read aloud in a news cast – with a straight face.

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      • This is why I will never, ever be allowed on the masthead here. Because I know that the joke depends on (arguably) mocking Asian names and (definitely) making light of an accident that caused deaths/injuries.

        But god help me, I can’t deny it.

        That is hilarious.

        Wrong. So, so wrong.

        But hilarious.

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        • My son was watching it on YouTube, and I assumed it was some sketch comedy show doing exactly what you describe. My reaction was that it was in awful taste and unfunny to boot. But when I saw that it was the folks at KTVU, who are, God help us, the best TV news in the Bay Area, and that they were perfectly serious about their scoop …

          Funniest thing ever.

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          • This is a good point – this was my first encounter with the item. If someone had just forwarded me a chain e-mail with the same joke, I would trash it without a snicker or second thought. It’s a junior high joke.

            It’s the framing that elevates it to art.

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        • I disagree that it mocks Asian names. It uses Asian sounding names to make a joke. It’s not like “Bea O’Problem” mocks the Irish or “Jacques Strap” mocks the French.

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          • Which is why I said “arguably” (for example, I don’t think Mike’s joke above is really Anglo-mocking either). IOW, we probably agree more than we disagree on the point.

            But Kazzy asked us to drop it and it’s his post, so let’s drop it.

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          • Mo,

            There is room for discussion on what these jokes are or aren’t, but this is not the place for them. This is a post on football and I want the conversation to focus on that. This isn’t even remotely related. I respectfully ask that you move this conversation to a more appropriate place

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    • George et al.,

      I’m going to ask that we nip this subthread in the bud. It has nothing to do with the topic at hand and at the risk of being a party pooper, I think this sort of humor is more offensive than it is funny. I don’t want to go on a rant so I’d rather we just let it die. If someone else wants to take it up in a post of their own, such is their right.

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  4. I do find it ironic that the only players who actually touch the ball with their feet are considered less valuable to the team.

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  5. the placekicker role is going to become even more specialized [so] teams are going to move away from kicking specialists.”

    A paradox like that may need a more thorough analysis than I think you provide.

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  6. Sure, why not have a female kicker? Football is becoming gentle and you can’t touch the kicker anyway. Given the new heads up tackling who is going to watch it as its gets more gentle?

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  7. Here’s how I know you’re wrong about the NFL doing away with place kickers: they’re the top scorers in a league that loves offense. It’s not even close. The top 20 scorers in the NFL last year were all PKs.

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