Football Schmootball: Welcome to the National Armball League!

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

I am of semi-sound mind and body. I am totally aware that the NFL - evidenced by Saints 31, Colts 17 being the most-watched program in the history of TV - isn't exactly struggling for popularity. I am cognizant that I spend waste way too much time in my perverted think tank.

If it ain't broke don't fix it, but what if we could make great even better?

Water was good, then we bottled it and made it mobile. Computers were cool, then we turned them into radios and TVs. Swimsuits were functional, then we cut them in half and - voila - the bikini.

NFL Commissioner for a day? Me? Why, thanks. Don't mind if I do.

We can always tweak the NFL: Eradicate the "hitting a defenseless receiver" bullshit penalty; Take the skirt off the quarterback and make their legal "strike zone" bigger than baseball's; Bring back taunting and stickum and dancing and tear-away jerseys and entertainment; Shoot, commissioner Roger Goodell has even hinted at eliminating the three-point stance.

My suggestion is a tad more revolutionary. Radical, if you will. As in, let's get rid of kickers and give more responsibility and value to quarterbacks.

Go on, you say? Fine, I will ...

I present to you the National Armball League, a sport void of kickers.

When we were kids in the backyard what'd we do? "P for K!" Pass for kick, right? I just don't see the need for kickers or punters anymore. They play such a small percentage of the game, yet have a disproportionate impact on the final outcome. It's archaic I tell ya!

Here's how it works: More Tony Romo. Less Nick Folk. You with me?

Instead of kickoffs, a team's quarterback will throw the ball into play. Instead of punts, the quarterback will throw it. Simple, right?

Here's the best part: Traditional goal posts will be removed from the sport, replaced by three flourescent yellow hoops of ascending size. Biggest hoop on bottom is worth 1 point, medium hoop in the middle worth 2 and the smallest sitting atop it all is worth 3.

I know it initially sounds drastic and State Fair Midway-ish, but think about it: The Cowboys trail the Eagles, 23-21 with six seconds remaining. Facing 4th-and-9 at Philly's 23. What would you rather see: Out trots Shaun Suisham to try a game-deciding 40-yard field goal? Or back drops Tony Romo to try and win the game by throwing the ball through a hoop. And imagine the strategy. The Vikings score a touchdown on the game's final play to pull within one of the Packers. Does quarterback Brett Favre play the percentages and throw it through the biggest, easiest hoop for 1 point and a tie? Or does he "go for two" and the win?

Demented? Perhaps. Delicious? Certainly.

Quarterbacks are the best, highest-paid players on the field. Fans pay big prices to see them perform, not kickers. My league would have given you even more clutch memories from Roger Staubach and less from Toni Fritsch. Wouldn't Buffalo Bills fans have rather had their fate in Jim Kelly's hands rather than Scott Norwood's foot?

So, on a scale of 1-10 how crazy am I? I agree, about a 14. But is it just crazy enough to work?

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.