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College football kickoffs will never be the same




The first-ever college football playoff championship turned in record ratings, attracting an average of 33.4 million viewers.
The first-ever college football playoff championship turned in record ratings, attracting an average of 33.4 million viewers.
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The word kickoff has been around a long time -- since 1855 to be exact. It dates back to the earliest forms of soccer and American football. 

But with today's concerns about repetitive head trauma in football, the kickoff is now changing. Starting this season, if you watch a college football game, you'll see kickoffs in a way you've never seen before.

As Take Two contributor Brian Kamenetzky explains, this is not the first adjustment to the kickoff process.

The kickoff has been one of these things, and you talk about it particularly in terms of safety that has evolved fairly significantly over the years, even in the days before we were concerned about concussions.

The newest changes are an effort to reduce violent tackles in kickoff returns and the concussions that could result.

There are some critics, including football players, who think the kickoff should be left as is, but safety has become more important than preserving every element of the game.

What this all comes down to is that we're likely heading toward a football game where there are no kickoffs at all, Kamenetzky said.

This is really just a bridge. This is a bridge to get from point A to point B, and point B in this case is going to be we're just not going to kick the ball off anymore... There'll be some people who say to themselves, "This isn't football. We're what makes football out of football." That is what this rule is designed to do -- give those people time to get used to the fact that kickoffs ultimately are going to be removed from the game.