Friday, March 5, 2010

Free Idea Friday

Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. Every Friday I will share an idea that's been rolling around in my head that I have neither the time nor the where-with-all to execute. Remember, it's free, so take it for what it's worth. 

The NFL Over-thinks Overtime
If you know me, you know I'm an NFL junkie. So when I heard that the NFL was contemplating changing the overtime rules, I was thrilled. The current system is biased toward the team that wins the coin flip and it's just plain boring. A couple of first downs and a field goal and we have a winner, with no chance for the other team to match the other.

As of now, the NFL is considering changing the rules so if the team that wins the coin toss scores a field goal, they have to kick off to the other team. That team then has one drive to score a touchdown to win or kick a field goal to tie. If they tie it up with a field goal, the game continues and next score wins.

However, if the team that wins the coin toss scores a touchdown on their first possession the game is over. This doesn't solve everyone's big problem. There's still a chance that only one team will touch the ball in overtime. And it just seems convoluted.

A proposal has been floated to add an 8-minute overtime, but the NFL Players Association is against it, saying that adding so many extra plays to 10 to 15 games a year will increase the risk of injury too much. Understood.

So here's my thought.
Eliminate overtime for the regular season. Instead of crediting both teams with a tie, however, penalize them by giving them both a loss. This will make the 4th quarter more exciting as teams gamble on both offense and defense as the clock winds down. Nobody will play for the tie anymore.

In the playoffs where we must have a winner, then we go to a shorter, more exciting version of the college overtime system. Put the ball at the 10-yard line. You have four downs to score a touchdown. No field goals allowed. If you score a touchdown, you must go for a two-point conversion. Each team gets the ball at least once. Continue until we have a winner.

Simple, effective, and it keeps extra playing time at a minimum for the NFL Players. Best of all, real football players decide the outcome of the game, not the kickers.

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