Archive for February 4th, 2010

The Sports Revolution: The Bonus Field Goal

Let me set the scene for you: There are four seconds left in an intense NFL playoff game. The visiting team, down by three and at the opponent’s 30-yard line, sends out its placekicker for a 48-yard field goal that will either end his team’s season or send the game to overtime. It is a dramatic moment.

Let me reset the scene for you: There are four seconds left in an intense NFL playoff game. The visiting team, down by three and at the opponent’s 30-yard line, sends out its placekicker for a 48-yard field goal that will end his team’s season, send the game to overtime, or end the other team’s season. Because especially accurate kicks that travel between Arena League-style interior uprights are worth four points, it is as dramatic as moments get in sports. Win, tie, and loss are all in play.

We can all agree that not all field goals are the same; some are more difficult than others. This has been the main motivation for changing the point distribution on field goals; theoretically, kicks that are harder to make should be worth more than easier ones. Most suggestions along this line, then, endorse making a field goal in excess of 50 yards worth an extra point.

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The Double Bonus: More Is Less

We'll just have to bump this out a little wider...anybody got 11x17?

Remember, as is the somewhat-settled-upon standard, John S’s comments are in red and Tim’s are in black.

Earlier this week, Sports by Brooks reported that, according to sources, expanding the NCAA Tournament from 65 to 96 is “a done deal.” Sources have since denied that anything is final, but the NCAA is at least in serious talks about opting out of their current television contract with CBS and letting other networks, like Fox and ESPN, bid on the new tournament, which could be expanded as early as next year.

We should have known that this was coming as soon as Coach K endorsed it, particularly given the fact that more money is on the table with a larger tournament. The Coach K endorsement actually was pretty significant; before him, most of the support for expansion came from coaches of teams on the bubble—not exactly the most impartial sources. Even Jim Boeheim’s vocal support of the idea came in 2006, when his team was heading for a ninth-place finish in the Big East and needed a few miracles from Gerry McNamara to make the Tournament. But Duke has been on the bubble once in the last 14 years, so it’s hard to see Krzyzewski benefiting much from the expanded field.

Truthfully, it’s hard to see anyone besides the head coaches of bubble teams benefiting much from this—this is a colossally bad idea. Like, BCS bad. Continue reading