Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Job, NFL

Today, the NFL has decided to change it's postseason overtime rules, making it no longer a strict sudden death period. In a 28-4 vote, the league has decided that if a team that wins the coin toss kicks a field goal, the other team will have a chance to get the ball back to either tie or win. If they score a touchdown instead, the game is over.

This is the perfect overtime for the NFL and really should be implemented in regular season as well. You earn touchdowns, not field goals. Field goals should be a play you settle on. The fact that all any team needs to do is take the kickoff to the 30, then go 40 yards is too easy in this NFL. This new rule puts the role of strategy back into the overtime, as now any field goal try would be second-guessed and the possibility to attempt an onside kick would be thought about. Plus, now it's no longer career suicide to win the coin toss and kick the ball (unless your defense sucks).

I think most everyone would agree that the NFL needed a new overtime format. The college format would be the worst idea since it's the dumbest OT in sports (going along with the dumbest way to decide a champion). For those who don't like that this rule is different from the regular season, remember the NHL has a completely different format for their postseason OT, so a slight, but clear difference won't matter here. Finally, by not going too far with trying to fix OT, it keeps the NFL from overplaying games when injuries can become more prevalent. The fact the NFL still can have ties is why soccer does the same thing. Soccer can never do a NHL-type OT during major events because playing for almost 120 minutes (90 in regulation and 30 extended) is physically draining and need the penalty kicks to decide games. Same goes for the NFL, even a little more do to football's brutality. The NFL did good today in tweaking their rules.

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