Change is never easy, because many of us are just comfortable with the way things were. In sports, we become stubborn regarding each game's original rules and regulations. But the reality is that football, baseball, hockey and basketball have been evolving quite dramatically over the last century.
The NFL has arguably been ahead of the pace there, most notably by adopting the forward pass in the early part of the 20th century, but also by continuing to tweak rules in order to maximize entertainment, competitiveness and/or safety.
Maybe the next solution as football evolves is to take a page from basketball and adopt its very own version of the three-point line. In this case, the 40-yard line would become a four-point line, at least for field goal kickers.
Adam Vinatieri is all for making 50-yard field goals worth four points.
“I think what they should do is any kick over 50 yards is worth four points,” Vinatieri offered. "Reward the guys that are exceptional. I don’t want to emphasize that kickers are more important…but now all of a sudden you are down three and you have a 48-yard field goal. Do you purposely lose two yards so you can potentially win by a point? It just puts a different little spin into it.”
That's the problem. Why punish offenses that can get to the 25-yard line while rewarding those who have drives stall at the 33-yard line? And how ass-backwards would it be if teams were to deliberately lose yardage on 3rd-and-long in order to set up four-point field goal attempts?
Personally, I'd prefer to leave the scoring system as is while shrinking the gap between field goal posts. But this idea is intriguing because the only field goals that are still exciting in this league take place beyond that 50-yard mark. A ridiculous 87 percent of the field goals attempted in 2013 were good, but that number was only 67 percent from beyond 50 yards. That average was only 61 percent in 2012.
At this point, anything that adds some intrigue to the kicking game should be embraced.