Monday, October 20, 2008


ROGER GOODELL has been quick to take action against players breaking the National Football League’s code of conduct. 

Now Goodell needs to intervene and end another act of unsportsmanlike behavior.

I’m referring to the now-common practice of coaches calling a timeout in an attempt to “ice” the opposition kicker before he attempts a key field goal.

Tom Cable, interim head coach of the Oakland Raiders, used the ploy eight seconds from the end of normal time against the New York Jets yesterday. It backfired. 

Jay Feely, who had missed from 52 yards on his first attempt, made no mistake second time around to send the game into overtime.

Fortunately for Cable, it didn’t matter in the end. He was rescued by his own kicker, Sebastian Janikowski, who converted from 57 yards with two minutes and 30 seconds left in overtime.

Janikowski was denied a game-winning field goal against Denver last year when it was ruled that Broncos coach Mike Shanahan had called timeout before he kicked the ball.

Some you win; some you lose. But either way, surely this is a source of embarrassment to the NFL?

The kicker converts the field goal and his teammates run on to the field to congratulate him, only to discover he has to do it all again.

I can’t imagine TV chiefs are too happy either with this sense of anti-climax at the end of a three-hour transmission.

More than 25 percent of NFL games are determined by three points or less, many in the final seconds.

The team attempting the field goal obviously should be allowed to call a timeout. Their opponents should not. 

It’s time for Goodell to exert his influence on the NFL’s rules committee.

1 comment:

Stamford Talk said...

Hmmmm verrrrry interesting. Not sure if I agree with you. Why is the kicker so special? Why not make a rule that you can't call a TO before a try for a winning touchdown?

I do agree with you that calling a TO for no other reason than to psych out your opponent is lame. Then again, it can be NOWHERE near as lame as when, in the last minutes of a basketball game, one team fouls the other one repeatedly, and makes 2 minutes last for 15!