Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 comments Skip Bayless Suggests the NFL Gets Rid of Field Goals, I Suggest We Allow NFL Kickers to Use Skip Bayless as a Football

Skip Bayless is a pretty useless human being. I'm sure he has positive qualities in his own personal life and tells many humorous jokes. He is well-known for being a fitness buff and isn't exactly afraid to show that off. This tells me he is probably somewhat insecure, which would help explain his daily pleas for attention on "First Take" and his love for Tim Tebow. He probably imagines a Tim Tebow-Skip Bayless petroleum jelly wrestling contest in his dreams. Regardless, Skip is a #1 troll and the bane of the world's existence. He craves attention and ESPN gives him a forum to get said attention. I have less respect for him than pretty much any other writer I cover here. In fact, I have such little respect for him I don't cover him here because I consider anything he writes to be pure trolling bullshit. I decided to make an exception today. Skip wants to get rid of the field goal attempt and extra point attempt in the NFL. Why? Who knows, but he probably is just saying stupid shit to be controversial and get the attention he so desperately craves.

Skip was very afraid the Super Bowl would come down to a field goal attempt. The Super Bowl did not come down to a field goal attempt, but I'm sure he is still proud of his trolling abilities.

This shapes up to be the hardest-hitting Super Bowl ever. Here come two teams who pride themselves on imposing steel wills on foes. So it's all-too-possible gifted warriors will battle their guts out for nearly 60 minutes … only to watch a player who doesn't actually play football trot onto the field and decide the outcome.

I think Skip is confusing the Super Bowl with the Dr. Pepper halftime special that takes place during BCS bowl games where contestants try to win scholarship money. The only ones deciding the Super Bowl will be players on the Ravens and 49ers roster.

Yes, the favored San Francisco 49ers' most important player very well could be kicker David Akers, whose psyche now resembles Cajun gumbo.
And Ray Lewis' nearly legendary "Last Ride" could ride on the mental toughness of an undrafted rookie kicker named Justin Tucker.
This, NFL fans, is lunacy.

No, it is not. It is the rules. I never realized there was a certain draft position or salary requirement for a player to be able to decide the Super Bowl.

This has been a career-long pet peeve of mine. Why do we blindly accept that the great game of football is often decided by a goofily gimmicky kick between two poles?

Because these are the rules of football.

These kicks count three points? They're attempted by one of the lowest paid members of the team?

These kicks count for three points just like a free throw in basketball counts for one point. Also, salary has nothing to do with the impact a player has a football game.

Even more also, David Akers is the 14th highest paid player on the 49ers team. The following players make less than Akers:

Colin Kaepernick
Aldon Smith
Mike Iupati
Randy Moss
Joe Staley
Tarell Brown
Navorro Bowman
Chris Culliver

So Skip fails in several fronts, including the ability to do basic research and know that David Akers isn't one of the lowest paid members of the 49ers team. His assumption the one of the lowest-paid members of the 49ers team would be deciding the game is false.

We regularly interrupt games to go for a ride on the equivalent of Disney's stomach-in-throat Tower of Terror. The scariest words for any fan are "wide right" or "wide left."

This is part of what makes the game of football exciting. The drama and the fact we don't know whether a kick will be made or missed. Because Skip Bayless lacks the basic writing skills of a fifth grader, he is unaware he is making the case for field goal attempts to stay as part of the NFL game. They are exciting and people enjoy them.

This is why I have long proposed a change that will never, ever happen because it makes too much sense. Give place-kicking the boot.

This is typical Skip Bayless reasoning. We are all idiots because we don't agree with his opinion, which is an opinion that Skip Bayless thinks is a really good opinion. We are stupid because we don't agree with Skip Bayless.

That's right, eliminate it.

You are so controversial and relevant in being controversial. Here is some of the attention you desperately crave.

Fourth-and-5 at the opponent's 25? You have to GO FOR IT. And you keep going for it until you score six points or you're stopped. If you score a touchdown, you always go for the far more exciting two-point conversion.

You say too many games would turn into low-scoring defensive turnoffs? Not if the usual conservative field goal chess matches turned into touchdown shootouts.

And apparently Skip is operating under the assumption that more offense and less defense is better for the NFL, which I am not sure is true. NFL fans like to see scoring, but I believe good defense is also appreciated by NFL fans. Skip state he doesn't think the punt should be eliminated from the NFL game, but if he really wants teams to go for it on fourth down then he should suggest the NFL eliminate the punt.

Who's to say Tom Brady wouldn't have gone on to win those three rings with his arm instead of Adam Vinatieri's leg?

Who's to say he would have? What does it matter? The field goal is an important part of the NFL and the game of football.

And if you don't like your fourth-down odds, you can always punt. No, I would not take the foot completely out of football. I'd keep punting, which doesn't directly impact the scoreboard the way field goals do.

This is all you need to know about Skip Bayless. He thinks field goal kickers should be prevented from making a difference in the outcome of a game because they are low-paid and not real football players, but punters don't have a direct impact on the game (even though they do) so they can stay around even though they are also low-paid and not real football players either. So the low-paid players that have an impact on the game should be removed from the game of football, while the low-paid players that don't have an impact on the game should stay in the game of football...all for the sake of making sure highly-paid players are the only ones who decide important NFL games. Skip clearly favors some sort of bizarre wage-related hierarchy in football.

Punting is an underrated art because of the strategy, skill and athleticism involved.

Punting is an underrated art while place-kicking is an overrated skill. If you think Skip Bayless isn't intentionally trying to start an argument by differentiating so wildly between two kicking skills then you don't know Skip Bayless. This is what he does. This is him trolling.

Punters must catch bullet snaps that sometimes bounce or test their verticals. Then they must aim away from dangerous returners or pierce the wind with low spirals or drop punts into "coffin corners" or stick them nose-first like majestic 2-irons near the goal line.

What Skip leaves out is that punters are often among the lowest-paid members of an NFL team and field goal kickers have to deal with bad snaps messing up their timing, opponents trying to block the kick, wind that affects where the football goes after it is kicked, and the pressure that goes with high-pressure kicks that can decide the outcome of the game.

Just let great football players decide games by, you know, playing football.

And again, to sum up Skip's point of view. Field goal kickers are not football players while punters are football players. If you can see how Skip would consider punting a "lost art" and field goal kicking a useless part of football decided by non-athletes then you probably agree with Skip Bayless and should lash yourself with a belt 20 times. 

Alas, the kicker-as-specialist was born. Gogolak launched a parade of soccer refugees who could outkick Groza or Blanda but who had no chance of making the team at any position. See: Garo Yepremian's hilariously disastrous "pass" in Super Bowl VII.

One time a kicker threw a terrible pass in the Super Bowl, so that means the NFL should outlaw the kicker. Skip does realize, and I know he realizes this but he is trolling, that the punter-as-a-specialist was born around this time as well. Punters are a specialized position and they are as much of a specialized, non-athlete group of football players as kickers are.

The AFL's Buffalo Bills signed Gogolak in 1964, obviously angering the football gods. The NFL's Bills paid with eight seconds left in Super Bowl XXV, trailing the New York Giants 20-19. In trotted Norwood, who missed a 47-yarder, the historically infamous Wide Right.

So Gregg Skip Easterbrook Bayless thinks the Bills lost Super Bowl XXV because they angered the football gods by signing the first kicker? If this were true, which is obviously isn't, would this mean the football gods would be angered at other teams who used kickers? Someone tell New England they should have missed those two game-winning field goals in two separate Super Bowls. Any important kick would miss because the wrathful football gods do not want to justify the use of a field goal kicker in any situation.

Just last season, Akers set the NFL's single-season record for field goals, with 44. In this season's opener at Green Bay, Akers tied the NFL record with a 63-yarder.


He has missed eight of his past 20 field goals, including his only attempt in the NFC Championship Game at Atlanta.

And this kick could have had an impact on the game, thereby justifying the use of a field goal kicker in the NFL. Arguing the NFL should outlaw field goals because they have too much of an impact on the game is like arguing baseball should outlaw closers because they just pitch one inning and can affect the outcome of a game.

His 31 field goals are best in Eagles playoff history. He made an NFL postseason record 19 in a row. Yet in his final Philly playoff game, at home against Green Bay, Akers missed two of three in a 21-16 loss. 

And this is relevant to why the field goal should be outlawed in what way? Skip is essentially arguing Akers is missing too many field goals and so the NFL should outlaw the field goal because we wouldn't want the 49ers to be denied a Super Bowl victory because of him. It's much better the 49ers are denied a Super Bowl appearance if their backup kick returner fumbles the football twice, since the punting game is all about football, while the kicking game is just a bunch of non-talented assholes kicking the ball through posts...which I guess is also the entire premise of soccer, so I wonder Skip's feelings on that sport?

For teammates, too. I've never talked to a position player who liked field goal kicking playing such a crucial role in football.

In that case, Skip Bayless has talked to maybe 1-2 position players in his lifetime. I can't imagine Skip has never talked with a position player who doesn't mind field goal kicking playing a crucial role in football. Of course there may be very few NFL players willing to talk to Bayless, so that may be the reason Skip has this point of view.

Yet kickers sometimes lose it completely, the way golfers do. See: David Duval.


So whom did 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh recently sign to compete with Akers and help snap him out of his slump? Billy Cundiff, who was eventually cut by the Ravens after missing a mere 32-yarder, wide left, that cost his teammates a shot at overtime on the road against the New England Patriots in last year's AFC title game.
Absolute madness.

Craziness. Absurdity.

Cundiff kicked pretty well for the Ravens until he missed this field goal, so the fact an NFL team gives him a look isn't completely unforeseen.

(My friend Feely and I bonded six years ago after I outraged him by dismissing kickers as "unathletic little guys." Feely soon made me eat those words by beating me in a 40-yard dash -- the Giants once timed him at 4.6 seconds, he's a scratch golfer and was a soccer star in high school.

Please remember Skip Bayless is basing this entire article that the field goal should be outlawed on the following premise:

So it's all-too-possible gifted warriors will battle their guts out for nearly 60 minutes … only to watch a player who doesn't actually play football trot onto the field and decide the outcome.

and he would keep punting because:

Punting is an underrated art because of the strategy, skill and athleticism involved.

Now Skip is telling us that Jay Feely beat him in a 40-yard dash and was timed at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. Don't worry, Skip is about to get a whole lot more stupid in making his argument.

He, Akers and Justin Tucker -- a receiver and defensive back at Texas powerhouse Austin Westlake High -- lead the new breed of athletic kickers.

So Skip Bayless is making the argument the Super Bowl could be decided by guys who aren't real football players like David Akers and Justin Tucker, then tells us that Akers and Tucker are the new breed of athletic kicker and Tucker was actually defensive back and receiver in high school. Doesn't this make him a "real" football player in some way? So basically, these guys are real football players who have chosen to kick in the NFL.

Yet even though Feely claims Tom Coughlin once told him he was the Giants' backup backup safety, obviously none of these guys could make it as anything but a kicker.

Well obviously, since it supports your point of view, none of these kickers could do anything but be a kicker in the NFL. A logical person would say they could also be punters, as long as they had the athletic ability to be a punter of course. There is such a huge difference in the athletic ability of a punter and a field goal kicker I bet Feely, Akers or Tucker couldn't cut it as a punter. Nevermind when a team's punter goes down, the non-athlete, non-football playing field goal kicker is usually the backup. This will just serve to ruin Skip's point that field goal kickers have less talent than punters and cause us to dismiss his attempts to troll us all.

Here's the kicker to this insanity: NFL teams won't spend much money and rarely spend high draft picks on what arguably can be the second most valuable player to the quarterback.

Teams also tend not to spend high draft picks on punters, yet they are considered by Skip to be the very essence of a football player. My attempts to argue rationally are going to fail. This is the nature of Skip's trolling. I can poke 100 holes in his argument, but he keeps coming back with a straw man argument and steadily raising his voice while failing to see or acknowledge the inherent contradictions in his thought process. Much of the criticism he has for field goal kickers is also true for punters, but Skip isn't trying to get rid of punting, so he fails to see his arguments for eliminating the field goal kicker can also extend to eliminating the punter. After all, Skip is all about going for it on fourth down and what better way to do that then eliminate the opportunity for a team to punt?

The first "big" free-agent deal awarded a kicker, in 2005, was what it cost Indianapolis to pry Vinatieri away from the Patriots: $3.5 million to sign and $2.5 million a year for three years. Laughably little.

The record contract for a punter (Michael Koenan) is 6 years $19.5 million. Sebastian Janikowski has the record contract for a field goal kicker at 4 years $16 million with $9 million guaranteed. Hey, if Skip can use a small sample size to prove his point, then I can use a small sample size to disprove his point.

Yet this season's average kicker salary is an astonishingly low $1.97 million. Ready for this? Tucker, who nailed the 47-yarder that eliminated Peyton Manning in Denver in overtime, rakes in all of $390,000.

He's an undrafted rookie and if he keeps kicking like he has then he should earning much more money after the next couple of seasons. Also, I wonder what the average salary of a punter is? I'm guessing it wouldn't be much more than $1.97 million, if not less than that amount. But again, Skip wants to throw the punter comparison out there and then no longer compare field goal kickers to punters when it doesn't support his point of view.

Tucker had a rock-solid rookie year -- making 30 of 33 field goals, including 4-of-4 from 50-plus yards. Yet in the third game, at home against New England, what if his last-second chip shot had been correctly called by the replacement ref? On replays it sure looked wide right. How permanently would his psyche have been damaged if his 27-yarder had lost instead of won that game?

Well, based on speculation that supports Skip's point of view, this would ruin Justin Tucker forever and further explain why the field goal must be eliminated from the game of football. Instead in this situation, Joe Flacco should have had to try score a touchdown to win the game, rather than rely on a field goal kick. That's more like the game of football should be to Skip Bayless, even though it never has been that way.

Please, America, stand up and support me on this. At least let's outlaw field goals in the final two minutes or five minutes or in fourth quarters.

How about eliminating field goals between the nine and five minute mark in each quarter? No wait, how about eliminating field goals between the 20 and 23-yard line? How about not allowing a field goal kicker who has missed a field goal attempt earlier in the game to attempt another field goal? What other randomly-placed rules can we think of as related to field goals?

Better still, give 'em the permanent boot. I dread watching Akers go Norwood.

So Skip's basic argument is that he doesn't want to watch a field goal kicker miss a kick. How is this different from a special teams player missing a block and causing one of the uber-athletic punters to have his punt blocked? How is a field goal kicker missing a kick different from a punt returner dropping a punt or not getting out of the way of a punted ball which is recovered by the opposing team? We wouldn't want the field goal kicker to ruin every other more highly-paid player's good work during the game...which is assuming every highly-paid player did good work during the game. Here's a better idea, why don't we give Skip Bayless the boot?


Pete Johnson said...

It's odd how herky jerky the entire article reads. Get rid of field goals but keep punting because of the strategy involved. I glad attempting field goals is lacking stategy. As you point out the Pete Gogolak history lesson just seems like a space filler. His statements about non-athletic field goal kickers deciding games has been done to death and is about forty five years stale.

I recently read someone criticizing op-ed columnist David Brooks, who writes a column several times a week for the NY Times, implying Brooks doesn't have enough to say twice a week. This seems to be going around as you look at Simmons and this Bayless dreck.

Snarf said...

Tucker had a rock-solid rookie year -- making 30 of 33 field goals, including 4-of-4 from 50-plus yards. Yet in the third game, at home against New England, what if his last-second chip shot had been correctly called by the replacement ref? On replays it sure looked wide right. How permanently would his psyche have been damaged if his 27-yarder had lost instead of won that game?


Skip's own network proved that it was the correct call (IMO this was evident already with replays) with trajectory of the ball and multiple views.

jacktotherack said...

While the entire article is laughably stupid, this particular part offended by golf nerd sensibilities:

Punters must catch bullet snaps that sometimes bounce or test their verticals. Then they must aim away from dangerous returners or pierce the wind with low spirals or drop punts into "coffin corners" or stick them nose-first like majestic 2-irons near the goal line.

Pooch punting is nothing like a "majestic 2-iron." A 2-iron is a club with little loft resulting in a low ball flight. The correct comparison would be "stop the ball on a dime like a precision sand wedge." Even when he tries to make some terrible analogy he completely fucks it up.

Bayless has been beating this dead horse for YEARS. It's such a tired, stupid argument he's making. I honestly hear absolutely no outrage from 99% of football fans I talk to about placekicking. It's part of the game, it's part of what makes the game great.

ZidaneValor said...

I do think there is going to be a trend away from kicking as many field goals in the next ten or so years, but not for the reasons Skip described. Ironically enough, it will probably be because of the "sabermetric" equivalent in football, where the math shows that kicking fields on 4th-and-1 or 4th-and-2 from inside the red zone is leaving too many points off the board. I think right now though that people are still ingrained to take the "easy points".

Hell, I still can't even convince my friends why you should go for 2 when up 7 (the cliff notes being that making it a two-possession game is a greater reward than the risk of only being up 7 instead of 8.)

waffleboy said...

You hit it right on the head. Skip Bayless is a troll's troll. He'd write 5,000 words on oxygen being overrated if his editor would let him, and is about the only human being who can make Stephen A. Smith seem almost thoughtful just by being in the room with him. That being said let's feed the troll

Who's to say Tom Brady wouldn't have gone on to win those three rings with his arm instead of Adam Vinatieri's leg?

Who? Me. I'm saying that. I am saying there is no way in hell that the Patriot win three Super Bowls on Tommy's arm seeing as for at least in the Super Bowl against the Rams the Pat's weren't even in the red zone. Not only that, seeing as Skip Bayless is putting the Pat's in a situation where they are up against the clock with limited time outs, there is actually a pretty good chance that the Patriots win zero Super Bowls in a field goalless world.The most horrible part of this scenario is imaging Bill Simmons telling us years afterwards how he and his dad always knew getting rid of Bledsoe was a HUGE mistake.

Bengoodfella said...

Pete, I don't get the difference in why punting is exciting, but kicking is not exciting. None of us are smart enough for Skip I guess.

Skip barely even writes for ESPN, but when he does he writes real stinkers.

Snarf, but what if Justin Tucker had missed?! Let's assume this would ruin his psyche since it goes to prove Skip's point.

Jack, I could handle getting rid of the extra point sometime. I would prefer the NFL keep it, but I get that it will probably be going away at some point. Still, getting rid of field goals? It's a dumb idea.

Zidane, that's entirely a possibility and I would have no issue with more teams going for two point conversions, but I think eliminating the field goal completely is short-sighted and wouldn't improve the game of football.

Waffle, I hate spending time dissecting what he writes because I know he is a troll. Still, I can't help myself.

Without Vinatieri's leg I'm not sure the Patriots win their first Super Bowl, though given how bad the Carolina defense was in the fourth quarter he may have been able to win that game with a touchdown. Still, your point stands.

You know if Brady choked in three Super Bowls then Bill would love it because it would mean he was even more tortured than he already was at the time with the Red Sox not having won a title in forever.

Snarf said...

^^^Especially if they lost those three SB's (while still getting there) because he could assert that they are that special sort of tortured that Browns fans just can't understand. At least their teams always suck, they can't let their fans down as much as the Pats.

Aron said...

The Patriots definitely don't win their first Super Bowl without Vinatieri, mainly because they don't get there without him. No way they win the tuck-rule Raiders game without him.

Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, I feel miserable for Browns fans. They have Chud as their HC now. Trent Richardson is a thing of the past if Chud has his way.

Aron, that is true as well. I didn't think of that. I'm sure Skip thinks Brady's arm would have won the tuck-rule game if Vinatieri wasn't around.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is in perfect keeping with the title of your endeavor...