In today’s league, the specialization of NFL kickers means that missing an extra point is a formality gone terribly awry, like French-kissing the pope’s ring or holding the door open for someone to an empty elevator shaft.
That remarkable sentence is from Jason Bailey’s thoughtful essay about the extra-point play in American football. (Thanks digg for the pointer.) Mr Bailey reports that professional NFL football kickers have made 98.8% of their 20-yard extra-point attempts since 1999 (the earliest season that these data are available in Pro-Football Reference’s Play Index), and he then discusses different suggestions for making the extra-point play more exciting. Considering that almost 99% of extra-point attempts are successful, why hasn’t the NFL done this already?