Media whiles NFL into changing OT rules
With Sports Illustrated’s Peter King leading the charge, the NFL has changed their “archaic” overtime rules for the playoffs.
The media has changed football.
Who else wanted this change?
Honestly I haven’t heard any fans demanding a change in overtime. There are no polls I have found online saying it needs to be change. I have read no comments from players or a head coach that the system needs must be altered.
King and his like have used this year’s NFC Championship game as the classic example of what they perceive what’s wrong with the system the NFL has used for the past 36 years.
A kickoff was returned to the 39-yard line, two defensive penalties moved the ball forward and then a 40-yard field goal sent the Saints to the Super Bowl and King’s beloved Brett Favre never got to touch the ball.
And that, according to King and many other media members, was not fair.
Life isn’t fair. But Favre never touching the ball in overtime doesn’t fit the bill.
Football, as every coach will tell you, is three phases - offense, defense and special teams. If you don’t want to lose a game the way the Vikings did then have your special teams stop the return and don’t have your defense commit penalties.
But maybe even more importantly, don’t let the game go to overtime where a coin flip can hurt you. I mean Favre and the Vikings had the ball late in regulation with a chance to win and he threw an interception. It was one of five turnovers that the Vikings had. Not getting the ball in overtime was not the reason Minnesota lost the game. I believe their owner agrees as he was only one of four to vote against the proposal.
These new rules the NFL passed will be just for the playoffs. Bill McKay for the Falcons led the charge, and his reasoning was statistics. Since 1994, when the NFL moved kickoffs from the 35 to the 30, statistics showed that teams winning the coin toss win the game 59.8 percent of the time.
The team that lost the toss won the game 38.5 percent. McKay and others believe that the accuracy of kickers make overtime unfair, there is that word again, in favor of the team that wins a random coin flip.
Again that doesn’t bother me, teams make their own fate. If you don’t want to get screwed by a coin then win in regulation. If you play solid special teams and defense, losing the coin flip is not a death sentence.
But the new rules seem stupid to me. If the team that gets the ball first scores a touchdown then the game is over. Just like now.
If the team that gets the ball first doesn’t score, you play until someone scores just like now. But if the team that gets the ball first kicks a field goal then they have to kick off and the other team gets the ball. And they get a huge advantage. If the second scores a touchdown they win. They also get four downs to use instead of three.
There is no reason to play it safe like the first team had to. And if the first team didn’t score at all they can kick a field goal to win. Even if they got field position based on special teams or penalties. I won’t say it is unfair because again a team must make its own breaks but it does seem slanted to me.
Not that it won’t be interesting because it will open a huge bag of worms for coaches. Do you take the ball if you win the flip? Tell your offense to go down and score a touchdown to end it? Or play it safe that your defense will hold the other team to a field goal or less? Coaches will go from wanting to win the coin flip to hoping they lose it.
I think overtime should have stayed the same. I am glad at least it won’t go the way of college or high school. Giving teams the ball on the 25-yard line is just as dumb as having soccer and hockey players have a shoot-out. It is exciting for fans but it is a video game version of the real game being played
If you insist on giving both teams the ball then play an entire 15 minute quarter to the end. If the rule is only for the playoffs, it would make for riveting TV as coaches would have to decide in regulation to try for the tie and face a grueling extra quarter or to go for the win right away with their seasons on the line. The integrity of the game would stay intact. Both teams would get a shot and all three phases of the game will still in play.
Football is a team sport. It takes a team to win. The media should not have encouraged the NFL to change its rule so a quarterback can get a chance to win a game he could have won in regulation. As Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley told the Associated Press.
“I just think that they should keep it like it is,” he said. “It makes things interesting. Some people don’t like the coin toss, but that’s just the way it goes. If you’re on defense first and you don’t have the ball, you’ve just got to stop them.”