The League

Emil Steiner
Editor and Blogger

Emil Steiner

The author of NFL Crime Watch and Founding Editor of The League.

A Win-Win Fix

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Despite Donovan McNabb's ignorance, the NFL remains the only major American sport where teams can still win, lose or draw. For all its positives -- and profession football has many -- breaking ties remains one of the most conspicuously unaddressed areas of imperfection.

Whether it be the overtime design, in which a coin toss determines the winner around 64% of the time, or the multi-level tie-breaking format for the playoffs, a common-sense approach for rules seems to elude the NFL. A rare occurrence for the most profitable sport on earth.

In 2003 and 2004, the league's competition committee examined the possibility of a scaled-back, college style overtime format. With 75 percent of owners needed to change the rules, only 55 percent voted for it in 2003 and only 22 percent in 2004. It's almost as if, in their pursuit of league-wide parity, owners became deadlocked on what to do when that ideal has been achieved in an individual game.

The question is why? Wouldn't the NFL be even more exciting if there was a college-type overtime format? Wouldn't the fans be better served by fairer finishes? Wouldn't we all be better off without ties? Perhaps now, in the spirit of change, president-elect Barack Obama could throw some the weight he earmarked for fixing the BCS, behind improving NFL overtime. It'd be a win-win for the sport.

By Emil Steiner  |  November 17, 2008; 3:19 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Personally I prefer the high school overtime format. 1st and Goal from the 10 and you can only get another first down through penalty (roughing the passer, DPI, etc.). Tlak about excitement, you only get four plays to score.

Posted by: Rob63` | November 17, 2008 4:44 PM

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