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Thursday, January 22, 2009

NFL OT solution - no coin toss

This is a bit off-topic, but I wanted to record my thoughts on how to make overtime in the NFL better.

The primary complaint is that a coin toss determines who gets the ball first in a sudden death overtime. From what I've heard, no one is interested in prolonging the game by guaranteeing each team gets the ball once, or playing an entire quarter, etc. So I was trying to determine a better way to determine who gets the ball first.

My solution is that the team who scores last in regulation has to kickoff to the other team. This gives the team that is tying the game the opportunity to be in control of their own destiny. Do they go for the tie and go for the stop in overtime? Or do they try to score more than their opponent and end the game in regulation?

The only time this wouldn't be an option is if the team is down by 8 and needs a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie. Other than that they have the option of going for a two-point instead of a one-point, or a touchdown over a field goal.

I think this would create more interesting decisions at the end of the game. It also takes the chance out of overtime -- you know exactly who will get the ball if the game goes into overtime. In general, I believe this would improve the current overtime rules without changing them drastically.

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