FG Record Holder: NFL Trying To Kill Kicking
Count record-breaking kicker Matt Prater as among those opposed to Roger Goodell’s scheme floated to eliminate the kicked point-after touchdown.
"The extra point is almost automatic," Goodell remarked last week on the NFL Network. "I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd [tries]. So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play." The idea the NFL commissioner floated involved awarding seven points for a touchdown, with a play from scrimmage following that would add or subtract a point based on the result.
Breitbart Sports sat down with the Denver Broncos kicker Wednesday, when he discussed making the longest kick in NFL history, battling an inopportunely timed cold, and his passionate opposition to efforts to take the “foot” out of football.
Given the absence of a clear favorite and the recent importance of kickers in Super Bowls—Adam Vinatieri kicking the Patriots to two last-second Lombardi Trophies and Scott Norwood’s near-miss preventing the Bills from winning their first Super Bowl rings—kickers figure play a crucial role in Sunday’s game.
Prater is glad the game comes this Sunday and not last. The kicker appeared visibly under the weather Wednesday, but he feels fortunate that the sickness didn’t come later in the week.
On December 8, Prater broke a record shared by Jason Elam, Sabastian Janikowski, and Tom Dempsey, and David Aikers by kicking a 64-yard field goal against the Tennessee Titans. “At first, I didn’t realize how far it was until we went out and got the spot,” Elam explained. “I knew I could make it. It was a cold day. So I didn’t know if it was going to get there or not just because it was so cold. But once I hit it I felt that I hit it pretty good.”
Despite the new milestone established for field goal length, rule makers debate further erasing the part of the game that gave it its name. After negating one of the most exciting plays in sports by moving the kickoff up to the thirty-five yard line, they debate whether to ditch one of the most mundane plays in all of sports. “They’re trying to take kicking out of the game completely, almost,” Prater declared. “Last year, they talked about taking out kickoffs. This year, they’re talking about get rid of extra points. “The Broncos kicker believes that the better kickers perform the less they’re appreciated. “There’s such a high success rate,” he opined. “Everyone takes it for granted.”