Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New NFL Overtime Rules

So it looks like the NFL will be adopting a change to the playoff overtime rules. Owners voted this week to adopt the following changes:

If the team that wins the coin toss scores a field goal on their opening possession, the opposing team will have one possession to tie or win the game. If the team receiving the ball second also scores a field goal, the game will go into a sudden death format, where the first team to score next will win.

If the team that wins the coin toss scores a touchdown on their opening possession, they will win the game.

If the team that wins the coin toss does not score on their opening possession, the game will go into a sudden death format, where the first team to score next will win.

Got it? It's actually not all that complicated, despite Sean Payton's whining.

In fact, it sounds like there are a decent number of people who really dislike this rule change. There are also a lot of people who think it's about time. I fall into neither category.

I never really thought that a team that went to overtime and got beat on the first possession had much to gripe about. When you go to overtime, that means that you didn't play well enough during regulation to win the game. You have 60 minutes of regulation to prove you're the superior team. When you go to overtime, you're getting extra time to make a play because fans generally don't like ties. But getting an overtime possession isn't your "right."

By the same token, I don't have a problem with extending football games a little bit, if they reach overtime. It will create more dramatic, do-or-die situations at the end of a couple of games, and I'm alright with that.

I didn't need the overtime rules to be changed, but I'm fine with the fact that they were.

Now, college football overtime rules are just a bastardization of football, and should be abolished.

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