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.
(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?
It 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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