Monday, March 01, 2010

We need a winner RIGHT NOW!!!!!

The NFL is bandying about new ideas on how to solve overtime. Naturally of course they are not even discussing the best solution - mine:

In my view the simplest solution is to punish teams for either not rolling the dice to make sure they won in regulation or giving up a lead. How should the NFL handle overtime? Do away with sudden death. If the game is a tie after four quarters you play a fifth full quarter (that will teach them). If the game is tied it's a tie. In the playoffs you play a sixth full quarter and so on until you end one with a team ahead.

I don't mind the current NFL rule as much as others. How about playing some defense you whiners!? Last time I checked that was an integral part of good football so suck it up (for the record I am much more annoyed with all the rules favoring the offense so much than I am about overtime).

That said there is a problem. Between 1974 and 1993, the team that won the coinflip only won 47% of the time, some advantage huh? I miss positional football. Since 1994 their winning percentage boomed to 60%. What happened in 1994? The NFL tweaked an unrelated rule (to help offenses, sigh) - kickoffs were moved back from the 35 yardline to the 30 yardline, giving teams better average starting position. Before that teams that won the toss scored on their first possession a quarter of the time, now its a third of the time.

The modification everyone is talking about (forcing a team to score a touchdown to win the game with sudden death - if it's a fieldgoal the other team gets a crack at it) is a slight improvement.  I understand the idea that both teams should get a chance to touch the ball - but again play defense and you will. Regardless I'm not convinced the rule will changed. As others have pointed out the NFL (to be fair similar to other sports leagues) is often irrationally reluctant to change rules and so probably won't until some a team in the Super Bowl wins the toss and drives down to score without the other team touching the ball.

Also I don't care for the college rule. First of all special teams are part of the game, what if some team spends a lot of time perfecting returns, you are taking that away from them. Secondly the teams start already in field goal range. Okay maybe no in college because with 120 teams there are some weak kickers out there, but NFL kickers could. Also it is weak in college for a team to lose because their kicker is not as good because that will almost always be some non-BCS team losing to one of the big boys.

It's still better than soccer or the NHL where they have shootouts which isn't really even the same sport (plus before the the NHL plays a 4 on 4 overtime period, also lame).


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