Despite the image of football as hidebound and conservative, innovation within the game is actually much more common than we think, as Chuck Klosterman rightly points out. You just have to look in some unexpected places.
Is there any chance a professional coach would take his cue from a high school rebel? Pulaski Academy High School coach Kevin Kelley seems to think so. Kelley's squad is much like any other two-time champion, save for one small caveat: they've only punted three times in three years. Our own Gregg Easterbrook has been at the forefront of this battle for a long time now, but the basic argument, summed up, is as such: It's better to trade the 40 net yards you'd gain on a punt for the chance to continue a possession. Sound simple? It's been backed up by many a study, but coaches seem reluctant to employ such a potentially revolutionary tactic.
This isn't the only offensive revolution going on in gridirons on Friday nights. For some time now, Piedmont High School in California has employed the so-called "A-11 offense", where practically everyone is eligible. Are either of these innovations ever going to make the two-day hop to Sundays?
How is this a bad idea? It's high school footbal! These guys are playing to have fun and to most people punting is not fun. By getting rid of the punts, I'm sure the players are going to play harder on those third and fourth downs knowing they don't have a kicking game to fall back on.” -- favro7715
I've all but given up on football precisely because it's like watching World War I. I prefer free-flowing, wide-open sports like basketball and hockey and if the No Fun League actually manages to make itself unpredictable and interesting I might start watching again. The A-11 is going to do to old-style football what the tank did to trench warfare, and I for one look forward to it.” -- monsterdog5
This makes me think back to a few years ago when commentators said Urban Meyer and Utah were gimmicky and didn't belong in a BCS bowl. The team went on to dominate its bowl game and then Coach Meyer went to Florida. Again, the commentators and fans afraid of change said the SEC's powerful and fast defenses would destroy the spread. Florida is now going to its second national championship game since adopting the spread offense.” -- P_Luns