Last weekend, I was watching the Arizona/Dallas game. Towards the end of regulation, the Dallas kicker was about to try fora 50+ yard field goal when just as the ball was about to be snapped, the coach of Arizona called timeout. The field goal was blocked, but didn't count. After play resumed, he tried again, this time making the field goal.
This week, the same play occurred in the Jets/Oakland game (it prolly happens in a lot of games, I just don't watch a lot of games). The Jets kicker was about to go for a FG, he missed, but the Oakland coach had called TO, thereby nullifying the play. The kicker subsequently made the FG.
Let's forget about whether this is a ridiculous rule - fact is, a coach can call a TO anytime before the ball is snapped - nothing you can do about that. But should they?
It seems like a horrible strategy. I realize they are trying to "ice" the kicker, i.e. make him more nervous by making him wait longer. But isn't it more nerve racking to come into a game cold and be asked to kick a FG, rather than given one free practice?
The only practice he's gotten for the last few minutes was to kick the ball into one of those practice nets on the sideline. He has no idea how to play the wind, how straight he's hitting it, how sloppy the field is, etc. You're giving him all that information!
The funny thing is how it's almost become de rigueur for coaches to employ this strategy*, which means one thing: If you really hate the coach of your favorite team, jump off a bridge, he'll definitely follow you.
* The correct stratgey is the old one...where coaches called TO's to ice the kicker before he tried his first attempt. That way, he doesn't get any "real time" practice.