Readers working overtime
Rule changes, NFL Network, draft and more hot topics
Posted: Tuesday March 20, 2007 12:14PM; Updated: Tuesday March 20, 2007 12:42PM
The great thing about throwing an unexpected topic like overtime out there, which happened in this space on Monday, is that it has the potential to generate a huge amount of feedback, with some interesting ideas. That's what I'm going to focus on here -- the new ideas. I'm going to give you e-mailers the floor, then come back to respond to some other topics after you guys have your say.
Just to recap, my point in MMQB was that the current NFL overtime system is unfair because any system that relies so heavily on something as capricious as a coin flip is not just to two teams that play only 16 games. And over the past five years, 35 percent of the overtime tilts in the NFL (30 of 85 regular-season games) have been won on the first possession of the extra period. I said I supported a rules change that would have both teams get at least one possession in overtime, and, failing that, would also support an idea the competition committee is currently noodling over: pushing the kickoff to start overtime from the 30- to the 35-yard line. This way, the receiving team would have to work a little bit harder to score on the first drive of OT.
With that as our base, here are your thoughts:
MAKE FIELD GOALS WEIGHTED. From Marc of Binghamton, N.Y.: "I agree. I think that both sides should have a possession. But what about changing some rules to make OT less frequent? What if the NFL had field goals count for different points depending on the spot: 10-19 yards, one point; 20-29 yards, two points; 30-39 yards, three points; 40 and over, four points. More teams would go for the TD if they were close to the goal line and strong-footed kickers would be a hotter commodity. Also, on the same topic, what if a team is awarded an extra point if their kicker kicks a ball through the uprights on a kickoff in addition to the touchback benefit?''
I LIKE THIS GUY'S NAME. From Phred of South Burlington, Vermont: "Why not have OT go for 15 minutes, or until one team scores seven points? That would get us back to football, where the idea is to score touchdowns, not settle for field goals. That would drastically reduce one-possession overtimes.''
GIVE EACH TEAM THE BALL. From Eric D. of Gainesville, Fla.: "Why not combine the strengths of the current NFL overtime system and the college system? Play with kickoffs and punts, but add a rule that requires each team get at least one possession.''
MOVE THE KICKOFF TO THE 35. From Tim Speer of Austin, Texas: "I love sudden-death overtime. Moving the kickoff up is something I've been wanting for years. My only other change would be to eliminate field goals in overtime.''
WISH I'D THOUGHT OF THIS. From Richard of Houston: "Why have overtime, except for playoff games? What's wrong with ties?''
I THINK HE'S CALLING ME AN IDIOT. From Tom Mackie of Wilmington, Del.: "Peter, I totally disagree with your stance on overtime. The thrill of overtime is the idea that each team had 60 minutes to win the game and couldn't get it done. Overtime is your bonus, your lucky do-over. By giving each team a possession you're changing the greatest sport into baseball and basketball. Football rules because every game counts, every series counts. There are no series to minimize the importance of each game. Let's keep football exciting and stop all the excuses why your team lost. If defenses win championships, then ultimately defenses should be able to win overtime games.''
I KNOW HE'S CALLING ME AN IDIOT. From Justin of Syracuse: "You could not be more wrong regarding your position on overtime. Football is more than just offense. In football, nothing should be given to you, it should be earned. What you are proposing is just as silly as the DH rule in baseball. Come to your senses!''
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