Not yet, but maybe sooner than you think. I think it’s crazy to get rid of the play, but Giants owner John Mara indicated that is a growing possibility. Last year, the NFL moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35. The result, touchbacks went up from 416 to 1120, and returns dropped from 2033 to 1375. That is a huge swing.
The result on offense was nil. The average points per game stayed the same at 44. Mara said that consussions were down 40%. I would like to see the data on that. Is that just on kickoffs or all plays? And how many actual fewer concussions, 50 or 4? I think the kickoff is an exciting play, and I think the NFL is at risk for watering down its product. But based on Mara’s comments, it looks like you might have to learn to love the game without it fairly soon.