NFL Meets Fans Halfway


It comes up every offseason. No, not the Brett Favre watch…but the constant thought “we need to change overtime in the NFL.” Some would agree, others believe that sudden death it the way to go. No matter what team you support, you always find yourself on one side of this debate or the other. If your team wins on the first possession, you love overtime. If they lose and never get a chance to touch the ball because the other team kicks a field goal, you hate it.

Now I’m not here to pick sides on that debate because the NFL has changed the rules for overtime in the playoffs. After a 28-4 vote yesterday, every playoff game that goes into overtime will go as follows. If your team wins the coin toss and then gets a field goal, they will then kick off. If the other team scores a field goal the game is tied and they kick off. Then it becomes sudden death. Eventually the game will end and one team will still be able to say “well they got the ball more times then us so it wasn’t fair!

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 21:  Kicker Rob Bironas #2 o...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

It could also go like this: your team wins the toss, you get the ball march down the field and score a touchdown, ending the game. Once again the other team cries “we never got the ball, it’s not fair!”

So essentially what has happened is that the NFL has met fans who hate the idea of sudden death overtime halfway. Attempting to give both teams a chance to have the ball in the extra period of time. But in my opinion, this is not half way. It’s actually shorter than that because this scenario only takes place in the playoffs. If you’re going to change the rules change them for the entire season and atleast get one thing right!!

Just for fun, here is my solution for overtime:

Give both teams a chance to have the ball atleast once, but unlike college teams don’t get the ball at the 20 yard line. After scoring, there would be a kickoff and then the other team would have to work the ball down the field. If they were to score a touchdown to tie it, it’s fine. Just kickoff again and then see what happens. From there, if the first team kicks a field goal, they kick off and if the other team scores a touchdown the game is over. If both teams score another touchdown then we make it how college is.

After your team has scored twice, if you score again you have to for two.

Trinity's Winning Field Goal

Image by rbglasson via Flickr

That is my solution. It eliminates the “my team didn’t get an equal opportunity” argument while alsokeeping the “sudden death” element. Now I realize that this could take up time and television networks might not like it if they have two games scheduled on a Sunday afternoon, but I think it is the best idea that I have heard yet.

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