The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sports Talk-NFL needs second look at icing the kicker

By John Garces/sports editor

We recently were privileged to see one of the greatest comebacks in the history of Monday Night Football.

However, an obscure NFL rule that head coaches are now exploiting nearly gave it a bitter ending.

On Oct. 8, the Cowboys moved to 5-0, coming back from the dead to stun the Buffalo Bills, 25-24, when rookie kicker Nick Folk made a 53-yard field goal.

Then he had to kick it again.

As all Cowboys fans know by now, he made it the second time as well, but the issue here is the rule that allowed Bills coach Dick Jauron to call time-out right before Folk hit the first kick.

Icing the kicker is a football tradition. I have no problem with it since kickers are usually some of the strangest creatures to walk the face of the earth.

But recently, more and more NFL coaches are pushing the line as far as they can, often making a kicker attempt a game-winning kick twice by calling for a time-out as the ball is snapped.

It’s a rule that needs to be changed.

Obviously, it didn’t cost the Cowboys the game, but in weeks prior to that, the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns suffered defeats because of the latest trend in time-out strategy employed by coaches.
With the NFL often labeled as a copycat league, many more coaches will probably employ this tactic before the season is over.

Imagine if such a borderline maneuver cost a team a postseason berth.

In the event something like that should happen, the outcry among the rest of the league’s coaches will surely be enough to banish the rule, or at the very least modify it by putting a restriction on how late a time-out can be called before the snap of the ball.

The NFL has a committee for matters such as this one.

The league’s Competition Committee meets after every football season to discuss rules changes needed for the good of the game.

The time-out rule needs a little less grey area and should be better explained to coaches who use it to give their teams an edge.

In a league where nearly every week a game is decided by a field goal, something as simple as a time-out could reverse the fortunes of two teams.

And nobody, from the team to its fans, deserves a fate so harsh.

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