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Monday, November 30, 2009

Fixing NFL Overtime

It's no secret that the NFL overtime system is flawed. What's more flawed, however, are the alternative proposals.

The most popular idea for a new NFL overtime is the system currently used in the UFL: each team is guaranteed one possession, and if the game is tied after that, sudden death begins. I don't really see how this is a significant improvement, because if the coin-toss winner scores in sudden death, the losing team has a legitimate gripe: they had fewer possessions because of a coin flip. The college system of overtime is definitely more equal than the NFL or UFL, but giving the ball to each team on the 25-yard line eliminates special teams almost entirely while significantly compromising defensive skill.

Why not just eliminate the coin flip altogether? Don't stop the game at the end of the 4th quarter. Treat the 5th quarter like you treat the second quarter: switch sides, put 15 minutes on the clock, and keep playing. First score wins. Yes, the advantage goes to the team with the ball, but they earned that possession by forcing a punt/turnover or suffering an opposing field goal or touchdown. The possession is determined naturally by the flow of the football game. This is a better idea than stopping the game completely, giving an old man a weird coin, and watching him toss it in the air.

It would work better than the college, UFL, and NFL systems. The only flaw is that the 4th quarter ends in a different way than the 2nd quarter, but this is a minor problem that really has no impact on the game. The overtime coin-flip, however, has an unfairly large impact.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ranking of OT Systems:

College
UFL
NFL
Charlie's Manuel

You can't just treat the 5th quarter like the second. That would change end of the fourth quarter too much in tied games. There would be no reason to run a hurry up with 2 minutes to go in a tied game. I think UFL or College is the way to go.

Anonymous said...

do it like the nhl shoot out and have a field goal kicking contest. after each make, move back 5 yards.

Scott Graham said...

Why not have it like college, just make them start farther away? Like midfield or their own side of the field?

Anonymous said...

Great Idea! I like that a lot actually. Who cares about special team. The only problem with that is it would be tough leaving a defense out two times in a row if the game remains tied. The more I think about it I like the UFL. Both teams get a shot. The gripe with this should be small. If the team that gets the ball first wins then its because the defense couldn't stop them on back to back processions. There really isn't going to be a 100% fair way to do this, but either the UFL or College seem the closest to fair.

Andy Musser said...

There is no way the current system is worse than the one I proposed.

"You can't just treat the 5th quarter like the second. That would change end of the fourth quarter too much in tied games. There would be no reason to run a hurry up with 2 minutes to go in a tied game."

Of course it would change the end of the fourth quarter in tie games, but how is this a bad thing? The only current reason to run a hurry-up offense at the end of the fourth quarter is because the game is going to stop and the ball is going to be randomly awarded to one of the teams. A lack of a hurry-up situation is not unfair: it just changes the way the game is played (as will any alternative OT system).

The point is that my proposal gives the ball to the team that earns it, rather than flipping a coin, which is automatically more fair than the NFL and UFL.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how giving the team that was unable to beat a team in 60 minutes extra time to score is fair. A game needs to end at the end of the fourth.

I don't see how the alternates will change anything about how the regulation time is played. Yours will change how regulation is played and that just doesn't seam right.

Andy Musser said...

"I don't see how giving the team that was unable to beat a team in 60 minutes extra time to score is fair."

That is the purpose of overtime in every sport, actually. One of the teams has to start with the ball, and it seems that everyone agrees that the coin flip is unfair. The college system will never be approved by the NFLPA, and the owners will never go for it either due to TV constraints on the 1pm games.

Why does regulation have to be played the same? Who cares if it's played differently? When the NFL added the OT period, it changed the way regulation was played. It's not unfair - it's just slightly different.

I'd rather have different and fair (giving the ball to the team with the ball is more fair than giving the ball away randomly), than the same and unfair.

Anonymous said...

Your one in a million with that

Andy Musser said...

NFL = dependent on coin-flip
UFL = dependent on coin-flip
my approval = better than both and more likely to be approved than the college system.

one in a millon or a million in a million, your argument is weak.

Anonymous said...

Haha, we will see what happens. It's not that me argument is weak its that your idea is so ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

This overtime idea is completely ridiculous. It completely eliminates the two minute drill in tied games, and it will cause for teams to play it safe rather than to go for the win in regulation...This plan basically just allows for longer games and is not actually overtime.

Andy Musser said...

Adding replay challenges to the NFL has caused teams to utilize a hurry-up offense more often to get the snap off before a challenge. This was an unintended effect of the replay system. The replays have made the game more fair, while also changing the way the game is played.

My idea unquestionably makes the game more fair, while also changing the way teams move the ball in a tie game late in the fourth quarter.

"It completely eliminates the two minute drill in tied games, and it will cause for teams to play it safe rather than to go for the win in regulation...This plan basically just allows for longer games and is not actually overtime."

Any overtime change will cause longer games. And, why is the 2-minute drill in tie games so important? It definitely isn't important enough to sacrifice fairness for it.

Anonymous said...

Stop blogging you're an idiot, they should just do rock, paper, scissor for the win. Stick to baseball it's the only sport you know.

Anonymous said...

Hahah. This is a joke. Your way is not only not fair but it's just stupid. I would say that there is 0% chance this will ever happen.


Clearly if every person but you thinks this is not fair and stupid then i would say your above statement is false.

"My idea unquestionably makes the game more fair"

But its cool, your way is right, its very fair, and will be in the NFL in no time.

Anonymous said...

"That is the purpose of overtime in every sport, actually. One of the teams has to start with the ball, and it seems that everyone agrees that the coin flip is unfair."

-If you give 1 team time to extend their drive then how is is fair to not give the other team a shot too.

-The coin flip (coin flips are the definition of fair) is not what people have a problem with. It is how the game ends with he possibility of only one team seeing hte ball.

O wait isn't that how your way could end too. So this clearly fixes nothing.

Andy Musser said...

I'm not the first person to come up with this idea, so it's not crazy. I never said this would be implemented in the NFL. Although, it is more likely to be implemented than the college system because I do not see the owners and players going for a longer game.

Also, I'm not extending a drive for one team. The current system STOPS a drive for one team, and not the other. So by that logic, you should like this idea.

For the record, I don't know baseball.

Anonymous said...

The Game ENDS. The current system doesn't stop the drive. The game ending does. By your ridiculous logic the 2nd quarter is unfair as well as the end of the 4th quarter in untied games.

How are you not extending a drive for one team? I would like that explained.

Also, Thank you for not responding to the other points I made. Your argument is getting weaker and weaker.

It is clear at this point that this argument is going no where so I am going to agree to disagree and stick to reading the baseball stuff.

For the record Scott Graham is sexy.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not the first person to come up with this idea"

That would make this not your dumb idea so you shouldn't pass it off as your idea.

Craig Mactavish said...

"-The coin flip (coin flips are the definition of fair) is not what people have a problem with. It is how the game ends with he possibility of only one team seeing hte ball."

The coin flip is the definition of fair if there is one Klondike bar in the freezer and two people want it. It lets someone get it without earning it.

I don't agree with the current system, and I'm on the fence about your proposal. They should fight for the ball like the XFL in overtime.

But seriously, by your proposal, say a team starts on their own 20 with two minutes left. Instead of doing a hurry up offense, they will treat it like the 1st or 3rd quarter. I can see how some people would think this is unfair, but I'm coming to terms that it is.

"-If you give 1 team time to extend their drive then how is is fair to not give the other team a shot too."

The defense on the last drive has the opportunity to stop them and get the ball back not only at the end of the fourth, but the beginning of the fifth as well, just like any drive the entire game excluding the last of the second quarter.

Basically, your overtime proposal is that the fourth quarter is extended X amount of minutes until the tie is broken, while switching sides every 15.

I don't care that I wouldn't be able to watch a hurry up offense in the fourth on tie games, that is such an insignificant change to regulation.

Andy Musser said...

Start using a log-in name and I will be able to differentiate your points from those that advocate abortion sandwiches.

And I will not explain how my system does not extend a drive until you explain how the current system does not stop a drive.

It is my system because I proposed it on the website you are reading, and I thought of it on my own. I only read about other like-minded proposals after I wrote this nonsense.

It's a cardigan, but thanks for asking.

Scott Graham said...

I'm trying to speak for others with this Andy, but I don't think anyone would try to tell you that the current system "does not stop a drive". Like them, I think the drive should be stopped.

When they made this brand of football, I guess they deemed 60 minute regulations to be appropriate. In that case they split them up into 15 minute quarters and 2 30 minute halves. They switch sides to keep the environment fair (wind and elements). So I think if you want to implement your system you would need to change the halftime rules too. Otherwise, you wouldn't have two equal halves.

I wouldn't lose any sleep about not seeing a two minute drill offense at the end of games, but I do think it's strange that the two halves aren't essentially equal.

This is a sincere question: Would you propose halftime just being a long stoppage, and then a continuation of the previous drive?

If you want to keep it the same (halftime), then I guess I'm just confused as to why you are okay with a possible change of possession after the 2nd quarter, and not a possible change after the 4th. Thus making two halves equal to a whole

Scott Graham said...

And yes, I know that the change in possession in overtime is random as opposed to going into halftime with both teams knowing who is kicking off. I guess it's just the halting in one half and not the other that baffles me.

Andy Musser said...

Then give the opening kickoff to the home team, and treat both halves the same.