Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daily Super Bowl Hype Meme: The Overtime Rule

One of the greatest moments in recent NFL history occurred on November 24, 2002, when the Detroit Lions battled the Chicago Bears for 60 minutes, only have the score knotted at 17. Erstwhile Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg sent out his team captain with one instruction--no matter what happens with the coin toss, take the wind. The Lions won the toss, took the wind, and all of America was stunned. The Lions went on to lose in OT. Since then, no coach has ever taken the wind.

The latest team to take the ball after an OT coin toss was the Saints in last weekend's NFC Championship Game, who then drove to the winning field goal with Brett Favre sitting helplessly on the sideline. This has lead to a chorus of more articles with the same theme we've seen for years: change the NFL's overtime rules!

Crticisms of the OT system is nothing new. So why bring it up now? Well because...NFL writers have two weeks to kill. Seriously, absolutely nothing discussed about proposed changes to the OT rule will have an iota of bearing on the Super Bowl itself. If the game is tied after regulation, the two sides will jog to midfield with Ed Hoculi and someone will get the ball first. End of story.

Further there are no original ideas being put forth on the OT rule. It's the same shit we hear every year. Move the spot of the kickoff. Guarantee each team gets one possession. Use the college rules. First team to six points. Make overtime a full 15 minute period. Pick the kicking team and spot of the ball the same way you'd divide a pizza (a personal favorite). These have all been rehashed ad nauseum since the first Bush Administration. If there was a scintilla of original writing or ideas to emerge, we'd be mildly interested, but that's impossible to find.

How does this rank? Well, it does have the virtue of being football related; it's far superior to Chris Mortensen discussing the Miami economy. But it's not at all related to the game, and nothing about it will change during the game. It helps nobody learn anything about the game or the teams involved. It's in the same category as yarns about the impending labor discord, paeans about Tim Tebow or queries about Al Davis' sanity--a league related story that's only discussed because writers think the Super Bowl is an excuse to discuss anything related to football. Hint to all media members: we have 3 months from the hoisting of the Lombardi Trophy to the NFL Draft. Outside of March Madness, pitchers and catchers and Lindsey Vonn, there's nothing grabbing our attention in that time period. You'll have our undivided attention on these issues in March. Wait. Just wait.

Therefore, let's give this a 6 out of 10 for being not totally frivolous but ultimately extraneous.


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