Posted on: January 5, 2009 12:51 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2009 1:46 pm

If we must, a simple solution to NFL overtime

For most of the rooting public, NFL overtime is sort of an anomaly in sports for one reason: it's deemed unfair.

A coin toss often dictates the winner because of the whole score-and-it's-over attitude NFL overtime adopts.overtime coin toss

(Get better at predicting coin tosses, I say)

A Google search of "overtime + NFL + rules" brings up countless columns and stories questioning the sanctity of the league's overtime system. Most want to bitch about it, some want to fix it, a few claim it ain't perfect, but who said things have to be fair?

If pronged, I fall into the latter's camp, but I do have a simple suggestion for those who may be listening. The solution isn't to give each team a chance (the pee-wee soccer version of solutions) or to play a version of what college football does (the soccer/hockey version), but simply to score.

Touchdowns that is.

First team to score a touchdown wins. That's it. Get into the end zone before the other team and bam, you win. It wouldn't have changed the outcome of Saturday night's Colts-Chargers thriller, but it would lengthen the field. Lengthening the field means the loser of the coin toss has a better chance of getting the ball back. And isn't that what it's all about? Creating at least the opportunity for mutual offensive possession?

SprolesIt doesn't have to be built in, simply increase the cost of scoring. After all, who wants to see a kicker win games? It's exciting when Rob Bironas blasts a 47-yard kick for the win, but not as exciting as seeing LenDale White punch it in on 3rd and goal, right?

Stripping away one element, the field goal, to add depth, trickery and creativity to the game is worth it. Witnessing a team march down the field knowing all they need is a field goal is only slightly less anti-climatic than an ending of Scooby Doo. Oh, it was Old Man Winter, who knew?!

Good day, I say.

Give me an overtime where six points, not three, is needed to exit the playing field. That's it. No possession equality, no new version of football like college. Just backyard football to end a game, and heroes named Sproles, not Bironas or Vinatieri or Longwell.

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Klick of the Day 

Nothing beats the wunder boner 

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 17, 2008 1:03 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2008 1:15 pm

Six games left, Turner should get me my hooch

With six games to go, I'm feeling pretty good about things.

Not about the Redskins, who look more and more mediocre as the weeks go on, but about my Michael Turner-L.T. wager.

Way back when in late August, or maybe it was early September, a buddy of mine from college, Esquire Toledo, and I wagered who would have the better season: LaDainian Tomlinson or his one-time handcuff, Michael Turner?

I took Turner. He took L.T.

The running back who took three of the following statistical categories would be deemed winner, and the loser woulMichal turnerd have to hand-deliver a bottle of at-least-12-year-old scotch to the victor.

  1. 100-yard games
  2. Rushing yards
  3. Total touchdowns

I figured this was the season L.T.'s body would give out on him. I figured without his trusty fullback, Lorenzo Neal, L.T. wouldn't get those 5-to-7 yard scampers he's accustomed to. I also figured L.T. would continue his evolution into Marshall Faulk, which meant less carries and more receptions.

As for Michael Turner, I figured the Falcons didn't pay him all that money not to use and abuse him. I figured the Falcons' offensive line had the foundation to be a good running team. And I figured new coach Mike Smith would use the Jacksonville model of run, baby, run, to exhaustion in Atlanta.

Really, I figured, wouldn't it be ironic if the grasshopper bested the sensai?

Eleven weeks into the season I'm figuring to be the owner of a bottle of 12-year-old Aberlour Speyside single malt scotch whisky. Either that or a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, but I'll leave the decision to Esquire Toledo when he brings it to our Fort Lauderdale office.

Here's the breakdown through 11 weeks:

                               100-yard games | Rushing yards | Total touchdowns
Michael Turner:         4 100-yard games | 971 yards | 9 touchdowns
LaDainian Tomlinson: 2 100-yard games | 686 yards | 6 touchdowns

Here's Turner's remaining six games:

Nov 23 Carolina 
Nov 30 @San Diego 
Dec 7 @New Orleans 
Dec 14 Tampa Bay 
Dec 21 @Minnesota 
Dec 28 St. Louis 

Here's L.T.'s remaining six games:

Nov 23 Indianapolis
Nov 30 Atlanta 
Dec 4 Oakland 
Dec 14 @Kansas City
Dec 21 @Tampa Bay
Dec 28 Denver

Turner's are tougher, with only mouth-watering contests vs. New Orleans and St. Louis, but I like a told-ya-so game vs. San Diego and Minnesota could be without its big run-stuffing Williams duo by Dec. 21.

L.T. should thrive against Indianapolis, Oakland, Kansas City and Denver.

But I have a nearly 300-yard head start and two 100-yard rushing games. Plus, the Chargers look like rhymes-with-Mitt and have devolved into a pass-first team. Throw in a loss to Indy next week coupled with a Denver win vs. Oakland and the Chargers could be playing for the draft in two weeks, thereby hampering the need to truck out L.T. week in and out.

Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about this, but not as good as I'll feel sippin' on some scotch in six weeks. Scotch, scotch, scotch...

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Klick of the Day 

Kind of like Hitler, but cuter

Posted on: October 27, 2008 11:27 am
Edited on: October 27, 2008 12:01 pm

Seeing an old Fantasy flame prosper isn't easy

I ran into LaDainian Tomlinson at a British pub Sunday around 4 PM. He was looking great, smiling, enjoying some wine and food with his owner. I heard he had regained his mojo, but I hadn't expected this.

Normally running into an ex-Fantasy player wouldn't have been a big deal, but the wounds were stiill fresh. You see, LT and I had what you Stop showing off!could call a tumultous relationship for little more than seven weeks.

I drafted him No. 1 overall despite recognizing what I thought were danger signs. I knew about his age, track record, sprightly understudy and Campbell's Chunky Soup connections but I bit anyway. There's just something so attractive about 115 rushing touchdowns. You think, I can be a part of 130 rushing touchdowns by the end of the season.

But the honeymoon ended around Week 4 in Miami. I stopped depending on him as my rock and I got testy as other owners started calling about his availability.

But I stood pat. I said to myself, "LT will change, he'll get back to the old LT the world knows." I even consulted my parents one Sunday morning, who both recommended that I stay committed to LT, that he'll come through.

But I kept reading articles, some by our own counselors of Fantasy grief, and I said enough is enough, particularly after seeing this in my most trusted source for Fantasy relationship advice, Cosmo:

"You won’t regret breaking up with a guy you’re feeling unsure about."

And that's what I did. I broke up with LT. I sent him packing, along with Marvin Harrison, for what I pegged as equivalent goods in Matt Forte and Vincent Jackson.

Then LT goes and accumlated 165 total yards and a touchdown across The Pond. Figures, you dump somebody and they go backpacking in Europe and have the time of their life.

On top of that ...
... LT vs. Turner

For those who don't know, I have a bet with a Toledo lawyer. I said Michael Turner would trump LT in three statistical categories throughout the course of the season. If he does, I get a hand-delivered bottle of still-undetermined scotch.

Name | 100-yard rushing games | rushing yards | total touchdowns

Michael Turner | 3 | 655 yards | 6
LaDainian Tomlinson | 2 | 551 | 5

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Klick of the Day

Finding a fellow brain-muncher can be hard in this day and age
Posted on: September 19, 2008 3:16 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2008 12:36 am

Do I bail on LaDainian Tomlinson?

Today, I need your help. You, you, you, and yes, you.

Everybody and anybody with an opinion, help me. I can't do this on my own. I thought I could Thursday morning, but I awoke Friday morning unable to.

I've lost sleep (not really) and asked everybody from loved ones to hated ones to ones who don't speak human (does rolling over on your back and squirting out a little pee mean "do it"?) what to do.

Here's the situation: I own LaDainian Tomlinson, and Thursday morning I was convinced I needed to get him off my team, ASAP. I was throwing so many trades around, I swear Trung Candidate was on the table at one point. I was reckless, at best. But one trade offer I proposed came back with a counter offer that has me hung up.

I would send LaDainian Tomlinson and Laveranues Leon Coles and in return receive Willie Parker and DeSean Jackson.

TomlinsonThose are the facts. Here's the background. I came into the year convinced this was the beginning of the end for L.T. but got "stuck" with the top overall pick of the draft. I took him.

His first game was promising, as you know, but then came the toe injury. That has me thinking "sell LT futures, sell now!"

But then the day went on, and I developed a fantasy-football induced split personality. This other version of me whispered to me, "Eric, it's just a toe injury and remember last year's slow start. It will all come together, just be patient, the worst is behind you."

But the other side then tells me: "Eric, this is the beginning of the end. You're ahead of the curve here. He's 29, banged up, has a sprightly backup making noise. Plus, the Chargers are evolving into a pass-first team. The guy's being phased out, bail now, look like a genius and get something in return."

Then I tell myself, "Eric, if there's one thing Norv Turner teams do well, it's run the ball."

Then I tell myself, "Yes, that's true, but a hurt LT is a hurt LT."

Other self: "It's just his toe! He says he'll be around 100 percent Monday night and heck, I'll be happy with a 75 percent LT."

Other me, "Yes, but if he's compensating for the toe, he'll risk hurting something more serious, like a knee, or hammy."

Other me, "yes, but IF HE IS HEALTHY, his schedule is tasty from here on out."

Other me, "yes, but he's the lone pitchman for Campbell's Chunky Soup this year."

Other me, "dear lord."

Other me, "make the trade."

Other me, "don't make the trade."

And so it goes. As of 2:50 PM ET Friday, I'm leaning toward not making the trade. I'm all in on LT, despite being a big Willie Parker and DeSean Jackson fan.

Can you, or your or maybe you help a blogger out?

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Klick of the Day 


A good read on why it's OK for Vince Young to be a bit wishy washy.

Posted on: January 15, 2008 9:56 am
Edited on: February 5, 2008 5:36 pm

Norv Turner ... still not believin' this

The Chargers are still playing football. The Norv Turner-coached Chargers. My world is officially turned upside down.


I don't have many beliefs outside of curly fries always trump straight fries, anything with Christian Bale in it is worth watching, the Mailman's thoughts on aliens and Norv Turner isn't a quality NFL coach.


It's that last one that's got my pantaloons in a bunch. Norv Turner's Chargers are playing for a chance to go the Super Bowl. The SUPER BOWL. As a longtime Redskins supporter I always thought Norv was a nice guy when he was in D.C. He had a Redskins show every Monday (on NBC4?) that was informative and made him come off as a nice ol' country bumpkin in the big city. But there was always that feeling that he was given the keys to Jack Kent Cooke's kingdom solely because he was on those legendary Cowboys staffs of the early '90s. Those teams were so loaded, Danny O'Shea would have his name on an Arlington water cooler. So he bumbled through six-plus years of mediocrity at RFK and the Cooker. The offense was always interesting behind Terry Allen, but the franchise lacked a system, and the team always lacked that chutzpah, that "we're going to win this Sunday" mentality. They just sort of floated around for those six years.


He was then canned, probably unjustly, by the second-most meddling owner in the game and went back to his offensive coordinator roots. And that's where I thought he'd stay.


Then the Raiders came calling and he (although probably every coach would, too) led the Black 'n' Silver to the AFC abyss.


Then the Chargers came calling after another round of offensive coordinating and my eyebrows shot up faster than Belushi at a buffet.


Norv friggin' Turner? Replacing Marty Schottenheimer, a coach who does the one thing a coach is supposed to do (win)? That was too much to comprehend, particularly with so many hot-shot coordinators itching for the big ticket.


(About Marty: I know he's had his chances to win in the playoffs, but I also think the playoffs are a big crapshoot for all but the absolute elite coaches (Belichick and Walsh). You enter them enough times, you'll eventually get the cards if you sit at the table long enough. In the meantime, give me a coach who consistently wins more than he loses in the regular season and gives his team the proverbial "chance" to succeed in the postseason and I'll buy that any day over the "coach who can get a team over the hump" by selling the franchise for broke.)


So Norv got the job and now he's silencing all the critics. And that means me. And that means I was wrong. And I don't like being wrong. So I'm going to continue to believe that Norv Turner is not a good coach, rather that the Chargers are simply lucky. If they give the Patriots a game, I'll fully concede I'm wrong. But I know they won't. Norv Turner is riding a wave of good fortune and the Patriots are the league's Bernie Lootz.

Upcoming SPiN column: DVD Re-see: Only the Strong

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com