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The Slow Death of Sudden Death Overtime (and other NFL rule changes)

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The Slow Death of Sudden Death Overtime - Why did the NFL change the overtime rules, anyway?

Ross Tucker makes some really terrible arguments against the new overtime rule

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First, in support of his assertion that this rule change flies in the face of player safety, he says "For a recent example, look no further than Cedric Griffin tearing his ACL in overtime during last year's NFC Championship Game." What does that prove? A whole lot more people tear ACLs in regulation, so should the games be shortened to help protect the players more? It's ridiculous to think potentially adding one or two drives to a handful of games is going to cause a rash of new knee blowouts. Then he points to Donovan McNabb's ignorance about the potential for games to end in a tie as evidence that the new overtime rule is so crazy complicated that the average fan can't wrap his brain around it. Seriously? You can state the whole rule in one sentence without even needing a semicolon. Then he cries about how the average fan already can't understand the intricacies of the strategies employed in a game. Yeah, let's not explode their overtaxed brains by saying you can't win the game with a field goal of the opening drive of OT. If that's too much to comprehend, go watch bowling. Then he brings up the Cardinals vs. Packers game (which would have ended exactly the same way under the new rule) as evidence that not all games end with a team marching down the field and kicking a field goal. What a revelation! The point is not that all games end like that. It's that NO games should end like that. It's too easy to drive 35 yards and kick a field goal to prove that you are better than a team that you couldn't outscore in the first 60 minutes. That brings us to his worn-out conclusion that "both teams...already have a fair and equal opportunity to win during the 60 minutes of regulation." So since it's been fair up to the end of regulation, there is no need to keep it fair going forward? If a game has reached the end of regulation with no winner decided, does that not indicate that the teams are closely matched and that giving the slightest edge will disproportionately affect the outcome? Besides the fact that the stats prove it, the coin toss logically puts the loser at a significant disadvantage. Otherwise, you would have a decent percentage of teams electing to kick instead of the 100% who now elect to receive. You probably still won't have teams electing to kick under the new rules because a touchdown on the opening drive still wins the game, but it's certainly more conceivable that someone would prefer their chances of winning with a field goal on the second drive over their chance of scoring a touchdown on the first. So while electing to kick under the old rules is plain crazy, doing so under the new rules is at least debatable. Tucker ends by saying that the point of overtime is to get the game over as soon as possible. While quickness in trying to decide a winner is certainly a factor, the games should still be decided on the field without giving one team a significant advantage. By Tucker's logic, we'd be better off just handing the W to the team more skilled at calling heads or tails. That would both reduce injuries and keep the rules simple enough for even Texans fans to understand. Problem solved!

NBA Overtime Changes: The Brainstorming Session

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The NFL has changed its overtime rules - so we take a tongue-firmly-in-cheek look at some possible NBA overtime rule changes.

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