This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, Feb 6
It is the week leading up to the Super Bowl, so I am going to test your Football IQ to get you ready for the game. Is it possible to score 1 point in football? Here is the list of known ways to score: 6 points for a touchdown, 1 point for the point after attempt (which can only happen following a touchdown), 2 points for a 2 point conversion (which can also only happen after a touchdown), 3 points for a field goal, and 2 points for a safety. That seems to cover all of the ways you can score points in a football game. However, did you know there is one other way to score points? It is known as a 1-point safety and it does exist.
It has never happened in an NFL game, but it has happened three times in NCAA Division 1. If you want to see it happen, look up the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, which is the most famous time it happened. Now, let me answer the burning question, how do you score a 1 point safety? This is a bit complicated so bear with me.
A 1-point safety can only happen on an extra point attempt. During the extra point play following a touchdown, the defense has to recover a fumble and then be tackled for a safety. That means that if the team that scored a touchdown kicks an extra point, the kick must be blocked or the kick somehow missed and the defense must recover the ball while still in play. After the turnover, the player must then run back into the end zone and be tackled for a safety.
Let me give you an example so you understand because the rule is hard to explain. In the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, an extra point attempt is blocked and the ball flew high into the air. When the ball came down, a defensive player caught it on the 1-yard line. Instead of just falling down, he took the ball and trying to get away, he ran backward into the end zone. They then tried to lateral the ball to another player who failed to catch it. The ball was then recovered in the end zone by the defense. Because the ball was still live when the player ran backward into the end zone and did not get out of the end zone before being tackled, the blocked kick became a safety and the team that originally kicked the ball was awarded 1 point.
I am not sure why this rule exists because it obviously does not happen that often, only three times in the long and storied history of college football. The weird part about it is if you look at the stat line, it just looks like the after-point attempt was good because it is worth just as many points as the kick would have been worth, it was just a whole lot more complicated to score. Why the ball is not just blown dead when an extra point attempt is blocked or batted down is a mystery to me. Even if the ball is returned by the defense all the way to the other end zone, it would not be a touchdown, it would be only 2 points because it is a conversion and not a regular play.
I did a little research and the best reason I have for this rule is that it has always been this way. I am not sure that is a satisfying reason, but it is the only one I have.
Considering the 1-point safety has never happened in an NFL game, you are unlikely to see it in the big game this weekend. However, thanks to the Baltimore Ravens failing to eliminate the Kansas City Chiefs, you are guaranteed to see a big helping of Taylor Swift because she is dating Travis Kelce, the star tight end for the Chiefs. Why Kelce has unleashed this plague upon humanity is anyone’s guess. If I cared what untalented musicians thought about football, I would mute the TV and provide my own commentary. I just hope that we get to see a game between the Swifty updates.
Anyway, I hope that all of you enjoy the game. I will be rooting for the 49ers to defeat the Chiefs by more than a one-point safety!