We see it all the time. A kicker trots on to the field with a huge field goal attempt to come. The kicker stares at the ground after taking his practice kicks into a small net on the sidelines. He thinks about the kick as his team marches down the field. Nobody on the sidelines talks to him. The coaches don’t even look at him until his number is called. After the last play that sets them up as close as possible, the kicker is called onto the field to attempt a kick that can either win the game or send it to overtime.
The teams line up for the kick as the second are frozen on the clock. Time is frozen and the kicker has to get ready for the big kick. Then, far more often than not, the opposing coach calls a timeout. They feel as if it ices the kicker and puts added pressure on him before the kick.
Turns out, it does not.
Joe Philbin was the latest coach to fall victim to the theory that icing the kicker works. It doesn’t. In fact, how many times do we see the opposing coach call the timeout in an attempt to throw the kicker off his game, and the team blocks that kick right as the whistle blows?
It happened again yesterday.
The Dolphins were tied with the New York Jets after Miami already missed a field goal from Dan Carpenter that would have won the game in overtime for the home team. Let it also be noted that Jets head coach Rex Ryan did not call a timeout to ice Carpenter, who missed his second big kick of the game.
Nick Folk trotted onto the field for the Jets and, right as he was about to kick, Philbin signaled to the referee that he wanted to call a timeout to ice the Jets’ kicker.
Miami blocked that attempt.
Folk had more time to relax and think about the potential game winner after the timeout, and he went on to drill the game winning field goal and send the Jets home a winner.
This needs to stop.
“I thought it was the right call,” Philbin said of his timeout, via The Associated Press. “I was planning all along to call timeout right before he kicked the ball. … Typically we’re going to ice the kicker.”
Again, it doesn’t work. Even the kickers will tell you that.
“I’d rather kick it than sit there and not kick it,” said Folk. “I got another warm-up kick.”
It is like giving them a practice kick before the real thing. You don’t see teams giving quarterbacks a practice Hail Mary throw before the real one at the end of the game, do you? Why do it with kickers?
This is a foolish theory that may have worked a few times. It does not mean that it should be used almost every time before a big kick.
Like I said, the kickers like it, so why are the opposing coaches doing them a favor?
It is time to put the icing on icing the kicker. No more!