The End of Foreplay

Mike Jones reports on the kickoff rule changes being considered by the NFL’s competition committee:

The NFL’s competition committee revealed a proposal Wednesday that would move kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35, and on touchbacks, place the ball at the 25-yard line instead of the 20.Additionally, no one on the kickoff team other than the kicker would be permitted to line up more than five yards behind the line. (Previously, players often took 10-yard running starts). And lastly, wedge blocks would be completely eliminated.

Jones reports that many Redskins steamers already hate this embryo rule’s future guts:

“What are they doing to the sport?” Simpson said. “We signed up to play this sport when we were 7, and we knew we were subjecting ourself to the possibility of concussion or even death. We knew that. Now they’re trying to take away the creativity of the player. They might as well take kickoffs and kick returns away and just put the ball on the 25 every time.”

My thoughts are similar to Chad ProbablyFirstRedskinToBeCutDueToThisRule Simpson’s, especially the bit about just saying fuck it and plopping the ball down on the 25. A few of the rule’s unintended consequences may be more kicks out-of-bounds as kickers try way too hard to keep the ball out of the endzone and more kick return fumbles as the pack of already generally fumble-prone speedsters get even less touches.

However, my biggest issue with said rule isn’t that it’s yet more meddling with the game I love in the name of safety, though I’m pretty sure that the forward pass will once again be outlawed at this rate, it’s the death of football foreplay.

See, like most foreplay, kickoffs are a minor part of the game–albeit they occasionally have major influence on the game outcome but this too is true for foreplay–but mostly it’s the thing that has to happen before the real work starts. In the end you remember the work and the outcome and the foreplay is forgotten but you’re reminded every time you or her say lets just do the damn thing and somehow the entire order of the sexual universe is turned upside down, and not often in a good way, how vitally important the foreplay is to the main event.

I like jumping right into it as the next guy but geez, honey, a nice on the count of three would’ve gone a long way in priming my pump.

Ditto that for football. You hit the peebowl, the drinkbowl, the chipbowl and out of the corner of your eye you see the game back underway. You stop, watch the tackle made—nope, broke that tackle—now tackled at the 34. Good start team, let’s do this for once. Then, with your football pump all primed up, you sit with the drink and the chip and get ready for the short or long march.

If we do away with the kickoff then this blessed routine will die just as foreplay as the main event died for most of us somewhere among the mid-to-late-teen years.

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