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NFL Overtime Rules Change
By Richard Lee King   

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Lets take the luck of the coin flip out of the game. Well, at least out of the tail end of the game. I say, just play on.


I don’t understand what all of the hullabaloo was about, but I definitely think that the NFL has it all wrong.   They changed the overtime rules as to how to determine a winner of a tied ball game when regulation time runs out….  
For years, when the score was tied at the end of a game, it just ended in a tie. Then the NFL got so big and so important and the bookies (excuse me I meant to say Sports Book, that’s much more legal sounding) got involved in determining how a tie game should end. Tie games were apparently bad for business. So the coin flip, to determine who got the first chance to break the tie, became more important than wind direction, playing conditions or fatigue. Or, maybe the coin flip helped to define their importance. At any rate, the outcome of a fantastic game between two evenly matched teams who had played to a dead even draw, suddenly came down to a coin flip. First team to score wins. Let the betting begin, or should we say continue.
Well, after years of that system being in place, we’ve decided that it’s unfair and we now have a new plan. Oh, we still flip a coin to determine who gets first choice of possession, or which end of the field they will defend. However, now if you kick a field goal on that first possession, you might not win. The other team gets a chance to try to better you……   and the betting continues.
I think the better solution would be to just continue to play. When time runs out and the score is tied, you simply continue to play until someone scores. You don’t take a break, you don’t switch ends of the field and you don’t take over on the twenty yard line. You continue to play just as though the clock had paused at 1 second.  
Every team should go into the game knowing that when regulation time runs out, if the game is tied, we just continue to play until someone scores… It would completely change the philosophy of the fourth quarter … Teams would be more wary of kicking a field goal to tie when time is running down, because they would know that when the other team got the ball they would be allowed to play until they scored. I think it would change the whole dynamics of how the 4th quarter would be played…  
Most importantly, it would take away the luck of the coin flip. You would have to play with a winning mentality for the entire 4th quarter rather than playing for the tie just to get to overtime.
It would give the team that is on the defensive side of the ball more of a reason to play to stop the other team.  As it is now, they often go into a “Prevent” defense just to use up the clock. If it were known that the team with the ball will just keep it until they score (or turn it over) no matter how much time remains it would completely change the way both teams would play those last few minutes. I’m sure teams would game plan for just such a situation, but someone please tell me, just how do you game plan for a coin flip?
And to be quite honest with you, I can’t see how it would have an adverse affect on the Sports Book. In fact, it would seem as though this type of a system would more often result in a win by the better team. Wouldn’t you think that would be what everyone is looking for?
© Copyright 2011 Richard Lee King
Author of: A Pursuit of Life & The Price of Freedom


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