A Smorgasbord of Sports Illustrated Bad Takes

No one loves teeing off on bad takes more than I do, except for the entirety of the Internet. So I am overjoyed to learn that Sports Illustrated's MMQB column is doing bad takes this week on purpose, here.

Now, since they have asked all of their columnists for takes that are intentionally bad (and revisited previous editions of intentional bad takes), it seems cruel to go to town on them. But I was struck how many of the ideas didn't seem particularly bad. In fact, I would put all of their takes in three categories: 1) I Actually Agree, 2) Eh, Really, Who Cares? 3) Okay, Yes, This is a Very Bad Take.

And, ever mindful of fairness, I will close this column out with my own bad take.

1) I Actually Agree

Albert Breer — Let's Build a Stadium in New Orleans That Can Host the Super Bowl Every Year

Andy Benoit — NFL Overtime Should Give First Possession to the Team With the Most Total Net Yards

Conor Orr — The NFL Should Add Preseason Games After the Draft Like NBA Summer League

Greg Bishop — Of Course Super Bowl Winners Should Call Themselves World Champions (KEVIN BEANE: This is a more controversial take in, say, baseball. But who could possibly call themselves World Champs in football besides us?)

2) Eh, Really, Who Cares?

Conor Orr — Eli Manning Shouldn't Get a Pass for Ducking the Chargers in the 2004 Draft (KB: Orr must have been hard up for a bad take this particular year, because this is the most who-cares of all the who-cares takes.)

Jenny Vrentas —Make the NFL Pro Bowl a Flag Football Game

Michael Rosenberg — The NFL Should Abolish the Play Clock in Favor of a Better System

Albert Breer — The NFL Should Buy the XFL and USFL to Make Them Developmental Leagues (KB: I put this here because I neither really agree or disagree, but the NFL has already given up on one developmental league, which Breer notes, and yet I am forever hopeful someone finally figures out how to make money with spring football.)

3) Okay, Yes, This is a Very Bad Take

Jonathan Jones — NFL Teams Should Uniformly Stop Retiring Jersey Numbers (KB: Admittedly, I almost put this in the who-cares column. But I don't like the idea.)

Kalyn Kahler — The NFL Should Get Rid of Kickers, Who Are No Longer Relevant to the Modern Game of Football (KB: Not this sophomoric BS again.)

Mitch Goldich — Actually, Ties in the NFL Are Fun (KB: Hmmmmm. Nah, sorry, I can't get on board with that. It's sort of interesting when it happens, but it's not fun.)

Mark Mravic — The NFL Should Get Rid of Replay Reviews Entirely (KB: I wish I could insert that Michael Scott gif of him yelling NO! over and over again here. This may be the take I hate the most. The top priority should be getting the call right. I personally don't care how long it takes, and I think coaches should get two challenges per half and keep them if they were correct. I also think PI should be reviewable as it is in the CFL.)

Gary Gramling — Death to the NFL Wild Cards (KB: It seems every American sports league thinks the more playoffs teams, the better. And they are right. How much fun did we have with the Miami Heat doing what they did as an 8-seed this year?)

Matt Verderame —The NFL Should Reward Safeties With an Immediate Red Zone Possession (KB: Two points and (for all intents and purposes) loss of possession is punishment enough.)

Gilberto Manzano — NFL Head Coaches Shouldn't Be Allowed to Call Plays During Games (KB: I had no guess as to why this would hypothetically be good. In the article, he says this would increase diversity in coaching hiring, but I'm still not getting the correlation there even though I just read it. Plus this seems unenforceable.)

Claire Kuwana — The NFL Should Make Game-Winning Field Goals in the Final 40 Seconds Illegal (KB: This is even worse than getting rid of kickers entirely.)

Which brings me to my bad take.

It's not kickers that should be removed from the game. Besides the long history of kicking and their importance in every other football code (I don't think soccer, rugby league, rugby union, and Aussie rules football would have popularity anywhere if kicking was just inherently boring and lame), a team should really have more than one way to put points on the board if you ask me.

... no, it's punters we should get rid of in the NFL. Make the penalty for not being able to move the ball severe. Why should you get to flip the field if you can't get 10 yards in three tries?

Of course, under my no-punt system, you would get four tries, which is more forgiving to the offense than three of course, but also would create that many more tense fourth-down moments. Scoring would increase, and scoring brings fans. All due respect to defensive teams and defensive battles — I am from Big Ten country, after all — but touchdowns are the most fun part of football. There would be more of those under my system.

Don't get me wrong, I endorse this for the NFL only. Upsets in college football would be much harder with no punts, and heavily favored teams would hang a hundred on inferior foes routinely. No one wants that. In the NFL, however, parity has been achieved to a sufficient extent to make this not a problem.

I mean this in the same spirit I am grokking from the MMQB writers: I mostly don't mean this, but also kind of do.

Get rid of the punters.

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