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Could Football’s Kickoff Become A Thing Of The Past?

Maybe it’s not fair to put this video with this post, but I’m doing it anyways.

Probably not, but one coach is pushing for people to consider it.  Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has seen one too many players injured during the traditional changing of possession for his taste – and he’s proposing we do something about it.  After he watched Eric LeGrand suffer a brutal spinal cord injury during a kickoff against Army (one that has LeGrand paralyzed from the neck down,) Schiano got to thinking.  And thinking turned to questioning.  “Why do we have to have kick offs?” He asked.  “Just because we’ve always had them?”

And he raises a good point.  Statistically, kickoffs bring more injuries than any other part of the game.  Yes, they seem necessary – but Schiano has another option that is actually pretty interesting if you give it a shot.  Instead of the traditional kick off, replace it with a fourth and 15 from a teams own 30 yard line. In most instances, the team will choose to punt it away.  But just like with onside kicks, they have a choice to try and convert to get the ball back – with a traditional play, and not a high risk onside kick.

Maybe the answer isn’t a drastic change like this – after all, the opening kick is a pretty exciting moment, and starting a game with a punt just wouldn’t feel the same.  But if it means protecting the players from career ending injuries, maybe it’s worth looking in to.

Article written by Will Lentz

27 Comments for Could Football’s Kickoff Become A Thing Of The Past?



  1. basketball
    5:14 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Football is a brutal sport. That is part of why we like to watch it. Injuries are a part of the game. I am sorry when the injuries occur, but removing the kickoff and making other foolish changes in the name of protecting players will just make people stop watching, and playing the game.



  2. Non- Kentuckian Kentucky fan
    5:22 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Why do we have four downs? Why do we have 100 yard fields? Why do we use a funny shaped ball?

    Because its always been that way? Yes, that’s why. Sorry one of your players had a life changing injury, but everyone should know the dangers of the game when you sign up to play it.



  3. radtech04
    5:27 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    that is probably the dumbest soulition to a kick off i have ever heard. Maybe make it a shorter on, to where the players cant get up that much speed. 4th and 30?



  4. Blue Virus
    5:31 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Boooooo. Dumb idea.



  5. Shields Eyes
    5:36 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Stupid idea.



  6. cracka
    5:42 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    that could get ugly in college … there are not nearly enough good punters to pull that off on a regular basis

    btw, how safe does this look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac-JYp25Bx0&feature=related

    oh yeah, punt returns are a great, safer option!



  7. SteveNash
    5:46 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Lion tamers know the risk, yet they still do it.
    People ignore the risk and think things will not happen to them.
    Just like when you jump in your car and drive down to dollar store for an ice-cream, you may wreck on the way with death being a result.. There are risks in everything we do. Life is short so don’t make football boring!



  8. catcrawler
    5:53 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    And maybe in Nascar they can start putting governors on all the cars so they don’t crash or go too fast…..



  9. UKIreland
    6:00 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    why don’t we get rid of hitting in football.



  10. Ben
    6:14 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    That is a stupid idea! Why not start the game with a tea party and they could play dress up at half time. Then finish the game of with ring around the Rosie! If you are going to change the game you should make it big.



  11. Section133
    6:23 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Sounds like something Rand Paul would come up with.



  12. Computer Blue
    6:27 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Why we’re at it, let’s get rid of tackles.



  13. SeoulCat
    6:28 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Football is an inherently violent sport. The kickoff, and the bruising hits that come with it, is part of that sport. If Schiano has an aversion to violence, then maybe he should consider taking up coaching duties for one of Rutgers’ fine flag football teams.



  14. Derek Abney
    6:29 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Not only is the kickoff an integral part of the sport, it is also a means by which guys like Dante Hall and Devin Hester (and perhaps, Derrick Locke in the future?) have made a living. Bad idea, bad idea.



  15. justin
    7:13 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    thats just gay….please leave the game of football alone



  16. starburst
    7:16 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    Seriously, Will?? I know you and yours at KSR love to put up idiot posts just to consider yourself a ‘around the clock’ blog, but;

    1.) We don’t care about football
    2.) Who is Greg Schiano?
    3.) We don’t care about football
    4.) BTI blows goats



  17. starburst
    7:16 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    f



  18. kyeric
    7:20 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    I hope they can just turn the entire sport into something where the two teams “just work it out” and talk through their issues. Scores could be kept like a debate and then a judge would decide that in the end, there isn’t a winning team, because “we are all winners”.



  19. Football Man
    7:51 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! It’s the kick-off baby!Boom Goes the Dynamite!



  20. Inside Your Mind
    7:52 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    America is slowly becoming the land of pussies. Toughen up people.



  21. Football Man
    8:01 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    #16 Starburst……really , seriously that’s the best name you can come up with!? This site is football & basketball and all uk……+ this is a football related matter and if you don’t care than don’t comment! B/c I care!



  22. Kevin
    10:12 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    How about we teach players how to block and tackle properly??? That’s the issue.



  23. boxvic
    10:58 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    16) We care about football.

    22) That is a good point. If everything is done with proper form then the risk for injuries is greatly reduced. Unfortunately there isn’t as much emphasis on the fundamentals once you get out of the early youth leagues.



  24. UPSCat4080
    11:46 pm June 5, 2011 Permalink

    #20….100% dead on correct.



  25. mike
    1:28 am June 6, 2011 Permalink

    Are punt returns really that much safer than kickoffs? I agree, its a terrible idea.



  26. FakeDrVance
    1:33 am June 6, 2011 Permalink

    Wtf? 4th and fifteen? Uk gives up a first down at least 30% of the time against sec schools on 4th and 15. Make it 30 then we will talk.



  27. JackB
    11:47 am June 6, 2011 Permalink

    The wussification of America continues.