"I long for a game in the rain and the mud between the Saints and the Seahawks."
Peter King presents some excellent ideas for adding excitement to NFL games (Rx for the NFL, Dec. 6), especially the two-point conversion, but he missed the dullest aspect of the sport. During the last two minutes the clock should be stopped when the quarterback kneels down. To allow him to run off 40 seconds at a time makes a travesty of the game. The team with the ball should either make a bona fide attempt to move it, or let the team that is behind have a chance to score.
MARLEY E. BECHTEL, Kenmore, N.Y.
How about letting a catch count as long as the receiver was inbounds when he left his feet to make the grab. Think of the excitement this would create. Some of the greatest catches count for nothing. Instead we get another boring nonplay.
JERE J. GIGOUX, Carrier, Okla.
The best way to reduce tedium in pro football would be to prohibit field goals within the 30-or 40-yard line, except in overtime, which otherwise might go on forever. This would encourage longer passes and more exciting game plans as well as discourage coaches from settling for a field goal for fear of a fumble or an interception.
ROBERT P. ASHLEY, Ripon, Wis.
December 27, 1993
How about after every field goal attempt, whether successful or not, a team must score a touchdown before trying another field goal?
CARL SMITH, Crown Point, Ind.
Increase the length of the end zone from 10 to 20 yards and move the goalposts back 10 yards. Such a change should increase touchdown production in the red zone by giving the pass receivers more room to maneuver and the defenders more territory to cover. At the same time, placing the goalpost 20 yards from the goal line would make a team truly earn a field goal.
DONALD G. DAVIS, New City, N.Y.
Get rid of the pointless, drive-stalling false-start penalty. As more referees are calling it, defensive linemen try to provoke it. It's not needed to prevent injury or an unfair advantage; if an offensive lineman pulls back too soon, he tips off the defense and disrupts the offensive cohesion. If the defense makes contact before the snap after a false start, stop the play but don't penalize anyone. That will cut down on the silly spectacle of defensive linemen running into people, madly pointing their fingers. The result: fewer penalties, few nonplays, more offense and more real football.
BOB MARSHALL Bronxville, N. Y.
1) Try a field that is wider and longer and has deeper end zones.
2) Allow the offense unlimited motion in the backfield.
3) Eliminate the fair catch, making the kicking game really count.
4) Allow 12 players per team on the field.
In other words, if you want more action, play Canadian football.
DAVID HUTTON, Ancaster, Ont.
I have a simple idea for making NFL field goals and PATs more exciting: Add a crossbar to the top of the uprights, making a retangle through which the ball would have to travel. This would force kickers to adjust trajectory vertically as well as horizontally, and would eliminate any doubt as to whether a kick was good.
LAURIE STEWART, Port Townsend, Wash.
Peter King seems to want to take the foot out of football, but for me the most exciting part of an NFL game is the kicking game, especially the field goal. It would be a shame for a team to make a long drive and get no score just because it didn't cross the goal line. One improvement I would like is the reinstatement of the drop kick and making it worth four points.
DERRILL L. TRIMBLE, Tacoma, Wash.
Peter King was right on, but he forgot to mention the biggest culprit in boring games: TV timeouts. They lengthen the games and stop whatever momentum a team may have been generating. Fans at the stadium have to sit and yawn.
GARY H. BURGER, Tempe, Ariz.
When I was a kid, Thanksgiving Day meant an exciting Lions game in the mud and the snow of Tiger Stadium. Today it's an antiseptic bore on the carpet inside the climate-controlled Silverdome. I used to feel a little extra affection for the Vikings when they played at the old Metropolitan Stadium, with their frozen breath billowing out from underneath their face masks. Today, with their games inside the Metrodome, the Vikings are about as exciting as vanilla ice cream.
When Baltimore lost its beloved Colts in the middle of the night in 1984, the football world lost what one writer described as "the world's largest outdoor insane asylum" and gained yet another sterile house of blandness. I long for a game in the rain and the mud between the Saints and the Seahawks.
JEFF ADAMS, Randallstown, Md.
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