September 10, 2009

There is (almost) nothing wrong with NFL Overtime

Steelers kicker Jeff Reed, looking sharp as usual.

With Pittsburgh's OT victory tonight, the "debate" about the NFL's overtime format will begin anew. It's cliched, empty-headed and boring, but let me once again explain why the NFL's overtime format should remain largely intact...

1. The coin toss does NOT "decide" the game. Yes, the team that wins the toss wins the game about 60% of the time overall, but how often do they take the opening kick and score without the other team touching the ball? 29%. If you want to make a slight tweak in order to make OT more "fair," move the OT kickoff back to the 35 yard line, up from the 30. Nothing wrong with that, IMO.

2. Did you lose the coin toss? Boo-hoo. Play some fucking defense. Jesus. This is the NFL, not frilly tea party maypole-dancing ball. People say it's not "fair" that the game can end without both teams touching the ball... I say: THIS ISN'T BASEBALL. Both teams don't get a turn at bat. Yeesh.

3. Some people actually advocate the NFL adopting the college OT format. These people have gone Full Retard. The college format SUCKS. It's not even football anymore, eliminating the punting and kick-off aspects of the game. Plus, it would MASSIVELY fuck up fantasy football statistics, which is a much bigger deal than a lot of people acknowledge.

4. Why is OT sudden death anyway? TV and injuries. The networks don't want 4-5 hour games, and the players association doesn't want a rash of terrible injuries when gassed players keep banging into each other for 15 additional minutes. The regular season OT rules should stay exactly the way they are now with one exception: move the kickoff for OT to the 35 yard line.

5. In the playoffs (wild card, divisional, and conference championships), I advocate a "first to six" OT format where (duh) the first team to score six points in OT wins the game. It can be a TD, two FGs, three safeties, etc.

6. In the Super Bowl? If one ever went OT, the first 15 minutes should not be Sudden Death. Still tied after that? 2nd OT is then Sudden Death.

What do you think, sirs?

1 comment:

spoonfulofpeter said...

I'm actually in the small group of pinko, soccer-lovin', wiener boys that favors ties. A tie would be a more accurate representation of the game's final score. That you could lose a 20-17 game in OT due to a defense that's exhausted from 60 minutes of play after a closely fought battle in regulation and have that count just the same as a 28-0 shutout seems entirely unfair.

The tie is accurate. OT puts people at risk of injury, screws with TV schedules, and leaves most people feeling wholly unsatisfied. Not that ties are satisfying, it's just not that much different.

Of course this will never happen in an American sport, but I think it's a better system. If we're okay with ties after 75 minutes, why not be okay with them after 60?

As for playoffs I really like your suggestions 5 and 6.