Extending NFL goal posts isn’t as easy as league thinks

The NFL spent a great deal of the offseason thinking about goalposts. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Of all the matters the NFL has wrestled with this offseason, extending the goal-post uprights by five feet seemed like the simplest — a veritable slam-dunk decision.

Not so fast.

There are issues, according to a manufacturer of goal posts.

“It’s actually pretty significant,” David Moxley, director of sports construction sales at Sportsfield Specialties, told Kent Somers of Azcentral.com.

Although the NFL took steps to eliminate players using the crossbar for slam-dunk celebrations, that meteorological thing called wind could be a factor that causes posts, at 35 feet, to be more likely to topple. Moxley told Somers that he is waiting for the results of a structural analysis by engineers, who will determine whether uprights can be retrofitted or will have to be replaced. Another manufacturer of posts concurred with Moxley.

“I think the NFL thought, ‘Just weld on five more feet and everything will be cool,’” Neil Gilman of Gilman Gear said. “That’s not the case.”

Gilman Gear has studied the matter, too, and believes the posts will have to be replaced at a cost still to be determined. (An NCAA goalpost, he said, goes for about $5,700.)

“There are safety issues here,” Gilman said. “We’ve been making goal posts for 50 years. If the NFL does it, will the colleges be close behind in adopting this rule? And in the college game, there is a lot of rushing the field [and] jumping on the goal post.

“We have to engineer this the right way so it’s stable, durable. Weather is our most important concern because wind is a huge, huge factor.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · April 3, 2014