CINCINNATI OH - DECEMBER 19: Clint Stitser #3 of the Cincinnati Bengals kicks a field goal against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 19 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
The league's decision/vote to move kickoffs five yards to the 35-yard line has been meet with some, well, resistance. The league says, it helps prevent injuries. Players ask, prove it. Originally the league moved kickoffs back five yards to the 30-yard line in 1994 to create excitement.
As it stands, there's a higher likelihood the following will happen: Team scores points. Commercial break. Kicker kicks football into endzone. Football player catches ball and drops to a knee. Commercial break. That's 5-10 minutes we'll never get back in our lives. Recite poetry? At least you're reading. Take out the trash? At least you're getting exercise.
Cleaning the dishes? At least your kitchen doesn't become ground zero for a new fungi that directly leads to an incurable mutation of the bubonic plague that wipes out humanity. Only if they didn't move kickoffs, the last living person on Earth shouts to the thick-clouded sky!
On the other hand, Bengals kickers will at least get the football into the endzone, right?
Mike Nugent's average kickoff reached the 6.7-yard line in 2010, a career-high, with 15.9% of his kicks resulting in a touchback.
During three of his five games, Clint Stitser's average kickoff didn't even reach inside the ten-yard line. That included kickoffs to the 23 and 24 against the Saints and to the 35 against the Browns. Stitser's average vastly improved thanks to his performances in the final two games of the season against the Chargers and Ravens, reaching the 4.5-yard line in both games combined, pushing his average kickoff to the 11.3-yard line for the season. Stitser has never recorded a touchback in his NFL career.
Aaron Pettrey, the place kicker that filled in between Nugent and Stitser, averaged 8.1-yard line on eight kickoffs.
Add it all up and the Bengals the average kickoff went to the 8.3-yard line for the season in 2010 by all three kickers combined. So in reality, the league needs to change kickoffs to the 40-yard line for any reasonable and consistent chance for Bengals kickers to reach the endzone.
And that certainly doesn't make any of us feel better now that the dishes are stacking up again.