Football used to be so easy.You’d drive the ball inside the other team’s territory, and you’d score one way or another. You’d either score a touchdown, or you’d settle for a field goal.
And now, I’d love to simply settle for a field goal.
If you’re a junior or senior, you were spoiled from 2001 to 2003. Nick Browne held down the fort connecting on 65 field goals in his three years.
He holds 10 school records, including career field goals made, field goals made in a season and field goals made in a single game.
Nick Browne connected on 12 consecutive field goals in 2003. In contrast, since Browne graduated, the Horned Frog kickers have only made 12 field goals total.
And, no, they were not consecutive.
In the 2003 Fort Worth Bowl, Mike Wynn replaced an injured Browne and his game-tying field goal fell short. Since then, the Frogs have missed half their field goals.
That’s 12 field goals missed and 36 points left on the field.
And now the bad kicking is seeping into other parts of my life. Jose Cortez, the Cowboys’ kicker, missed a field goal early in the first quarter of the game against the Redskins.
That didn’t mean much when we were up 13-0. But it meant a lot when we were losing 14-13 a couple minutes later.
Missed field goals kill a team. You lose the points, and you lose seven yards.
And, to the defense, a missed field goal is the same as a turnover. Missing a field goal is the same as going for it on fourth down, having the quarterback fumble the snap and having the defense recover the fumble seven yards behind the line of scrimmage.
I hope the search for the next Nick Browne is over here at TCU. I hope that sophomore Chris Manfredini is the answer the Frogs have been looking for since the Fort Worth Bowl.
Or, better yet, I hope junior Peter LoCoco figures it out and gets his campuswide scarlet letter taken off.
But if neither of them is the answer, then I hope we hold a campuswide try out.
I’m not saying that kicking a field goal is easy. Especially a 40-yard field goal on the road with a game on the line.
But there has to be someone on this campus who can do it. Check the remnants of the dissolved men’s soccer team. Check the women’s soccer team. Check intramural soccer teams.
Because I’m pretty sure at least one of them knows how to kick. I want TCU to have an established field goal range again. I want the red zone to mean guaranteed points most of the time.
In college football, it is extremely important to have a good placekicker. I mean, look at the overtime rules. They are designed so that, even if you go three-and-out, you’re still going to have a reasonable field goal to kick.
With a question mark kicking, 42 yards is anything but reasonable.
Field goals are only worth three points because they’re supposed to be easy. But the way things have gone with the last 25 field goals, maybe they should be worth 10.
Drew Irwin is a senior economics and broadcast journalism major from Dallas.