Don't count on change
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Yes, the overtime system in the NFL should be changed, preferably to one in which each team is guaranteed the ball once with the current rules taking effect after that.
But that won't happen. Not this year and not soon, even with the talk this weekend about a system providing that a team that wins the coin toss and takes the ball has to score at least six points -- a touchdown -- to win. Yes, a lot of people like it, but most of them don't understand that the NFL, especially the owners, general managers and coaches who will have to approve the move, are very resistant to change.
We're hearing about this because everything is "news'' and there are a lot of people reporting it who don't cover the NFL on a regular basis. Especially when it's put forward -- in the form of a "discussion'' -- at the scouting combine, where 628 media credentials were issued this year. About 620 of the people who got them do not attend league meetings, nor do they understand the politics of the NFL.
Yes, the competition committee meets annually at the combine, then again in Florida for a week before the meetings late in March. It talks about all sorts of things every time it meets, but very little is enacted until it's been before all 32 teams at the spring meetings, usually several times. That can mean two years, five years, ten years.
Remember that all changes in the rules have to be approved by 24 of the 32 teams. That means nine teams can kill it. In this case, the owners ask the coaches what they think. For most coaches, the first reaction to change -- major or minor -- is "no.'' Tell me that fewer than nine coaches will object to this proposal, or try to substitute another, and I'll be shocked.
This one? If it even gets to the floor for a vote I'd be surprised.
In the NFL, the status quo is the status quo.
March 2, 2010; 8:41 AM ET
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