Puzzling Pigskin

Oct 19, 2009

RAY: This was from my pigskin series and as you may have noticed the football season has descended upon us with the subtlety of an avalanche.

Football is played by big and small schools all over the country and often some schools simply don't have any players in their school who are capable of place kicking. Place kicking is when somebody holds the football and another guy comes up and kicks it, like when you kick a field goal or an extra point.

These teams without a place kicker are therefore incapable of kicking extra points and/or field goals because they don't have anyone who's courageous enough to hold the ball or who can kick it when it's being held. They can score touchdowns but when they do they have to run the ball for two extra points every time.

Now, a team that can't convert a place kick can do just about everything that a team that can convert one can do. They can certainly win all their games, if they are capable, or they can lose all their games. They can score touchdowns; they can score no touchdowns. But there is one thing that they simply cannot do, something that they can't accomplish. And what is that thing?

RAY: Here's the answer. A team with no place kicker cannot score an odd number of points.

TOM: Why not?

RAY: Well, because touchdowns are six points. And the extra points that a team with no place kicker can score are two points.

TOM: Ohh.

RAY: They can't score a one-point extra point, and they can't kick field goals which are three points. So do we have a winner?

TOM: The winner this week is John Kaye from Seattle, Washington. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, John will get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com, with which he can get a four pack of our new Car Talk reusable shopping bags.

RAY: Congratulations, John!

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