Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waste of (Over)Time

Instead of trying to come closer on disagreements between the owners and players unions this week, NFL representatives instead decided to waste their time coming up with a really stupid new overtime rule for playoff games in the NFL. While it may seem unfair to some that a team could conceivably never touch the ball in overtime and lose the game, this new overtime rule is not the answer at all. The NFL needs to be consistent with their rules in both the regular and post season, and this new ruling flies right in the face of that.

While in theory I agree that both teams should have a shot at scoring in overtime, I think that changing the rule in the playoffs but not in the regular season is counter-intuitive, and is not a final solution to this problem. What happens in week 17 when two teams vying for a final playoff spot go to overtime? Is that overtime not as important as an overtime in the wild card round the next week? My point is, every overtime in football is important. You can't change one thing and not change another.

Secondly, I don't understand the outcry at this rule brought about by the NFC Championship. Sure, the Vikings didn't get the ball in overtime; but as I recall, they had a chance to win the game in regulation and a too many men in the huddle penalty, followed by a massive Favre fail took the game into overtime. Just as every game is important in football, so is every possession, and the Vikings can only be mad at themselves for losing that game, not at the rules. If, as it appears, that the Saints-Vikings game was the impetus for this rule change, then the entire spirit of it is wrong.

Finally, this new overtime rule is a completely watered down version of what it should be. Let's be honest, the college football overtime rule is "where it's at" (to use the parlance of our times) and that is what the NFL should adopt. Sure the college OT rule would make the games longer, but the NFL seems ready to accept that for the playoffs, so why not the regular season too? Moreover, it would be much more exciting. Let's face it, when a college football game goes to OT, you know you are watching even if you have no clue who is playing. The NFL needs to either adopt the college OT rule or stick with what they've got. This new rule is just a weak attempt at mimicking the college rule while not admitting that the college way is indeed "the bomb."

In the next few years, I expect to see a more permanent change to the overtime rules in pro football. The NFL realized that their overtime format is lousy, but their attempt to change it was just as lousy. The NFL must be consistent in its ruling throughout the entire season, otherwise the Donovan McNabbs out there will get confused if the rules change from game to game. Every single game is important, and the NFL needs to realize that the college football overtime rule is the way to go. Don't be surprised if we see it adopted before too long, or a revert back to the old rules altogether. It just doesn't make any sense the way they have it set up now.


  1. Yeah talk about a half-assed compromise, I'd have adopted the college rule, but instead I'd make teams drive the whole field and ban field goals. Nobody wants to see some drunk kicker come out and win the game in OT, no thats the time for fade passes to Randy Moss and break-away runs. Is that Donovan McNabb reference a veiled racial commentary? If so, Al Sharpton will be all up on dis blog.

  2. Compromise and come up with an Player-Protective, Fan Pleasing, NFL Original overtime:

    Each team gets 1 (one) chance to score starting from their own 20 yard line, hell, 35 yard line if you want.

    High School football is similar to college in that each team gets a chance to score, but unlike college, can end in a tie if there is no victor by the end of the 3rd overtime.

    Make the NFL similar, but have it be just one overtime period.

    Koey Has Spoey-ken

  3. And what if both teams score Sven? Your tie solution is like kissing your cousin, nobody wants that.

  4. The McNabb comment was more a reference to the fact that he didn't know that you could tie in the NFL. But I bet Michael Vick, Vince Young, Jason Campbell, David Garrard et al. didn't know that either.

  5. You're never going to get the NFL Owners OR Players Union to agree on an overtime where they play till there's a winner. So don't get greedy, CheeseDorne.

  6. I'd like to here baby in car's opinion on the matter