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NFL could ban leaping over the line on field goals, extra points

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when Bobby Wagner’s heroic early field goal block against the Arizona Cardinals in that 6-6 tie with the Seattle Seahawks? If you don’t, then where have you been? I’m sure this GIF will help.

This could soon be illegal pending a vote form the NFL’s competition committee. The Washington Post has further details on this new rule proposal, which was actually made by the NFL Players Association.

The ban on a player leaping over the line of scrimmage on a field goal or extra point was suggested by representatives of the NFL Players Association when they met with the competition committee at the NFL scouting combine. The tactic has become somewhat common as a means to block kicks and has resulted in some high-profile, closely scrutinized plays.

The prohibition would be a player-safety measure designed to protect both the player doing the leaping and any offensive player on which he might land. Under current rules, such a leap is illegal if the player lands on an offensive player but legal if the player successfully clears the line of scrimmage.

Also on the list of rule changes are automatic suspensions for players who commit certain illegal hits, as well as tinkering with the NFL replay system so that decisions are made by the league offices in New York, instead of by the head official. We’ll presumably get more details within a few days, as the proposals are expected to be officially announced by the end of this week, with the owners set to have their anneal meeting next week.

At least 24 of 32 teams would have to approve any proposed rule changes. By the way, Bruce Arians is part of the competition committee. I’m sure he’s for the ban.

Field goal and extra point leaps are rare but awesome, so of course it must be legislated out of the sport. If this really is the end of the line for combining the expertise of judging pre-snap timing with impressive hops, let’s pour one out for the incredible achievements of super-athletes by remembering some of the best instances of human hurdling to save a maximum of 3 points.