Overtime is the best period in sports—and also the most cryptic, it would appear.
For fans, the plus-side of extra periods is obvious. Overtime is the dessert of sports—a bonus serving at a meal you don’t want to end.
For players, however, overtime can be a confusing and strange period of the game—as evidenced by the scenarios that played out in Green Bay and Foxborough Sunday.
The confusion began with the Sunday afternoon game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. The game went into overtime and ended in a 26-26 tie, and that's where things became confusing.
According to Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated, several young Packers players were unaware of the possibility of the game ending in a tie.
Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was one of the young players who admitted to being confused about the rules. As it currently stands, a game will end in a tie if time expires in overtime and both teams have opted to kick (successful) field goals.
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Quarless admitted to members of the media that he had thought the game would go into double overtime.
Per Demovsky’s report:
“It’s definitely a weird feeling,” Quarless said. “This is my first tie I’ve been a part of. Like I was telling [another reporter] earlier, I thought we were going to go to double overtime.”
The end of the game in Green Bay wasn’t the only confusing overtime scenario Sunday.
People were skeptical, to say the least.
Pats pretty much said you can't score with the wind against you. Never heard of someone not takin the ball when they win the toss in OT— Josh Hewitt (@TheJoshHewitt) November 25, 2013
Pats win the toss and give DEN the ball. If this doesn't work out BB's postgame lip smack will be loud enough to set off car alarms— Jerry Thornton (@jerrythornton1) November 25, 2013
Pats win the toss and elect to defend.......wat?— Cam Thomas (@CT7_) November 25, 2013
According to Doug Kyed of NESN.com, Belichick wanted to use the wind to his defense’s advantage. Many of the Patriots were baffled by the decision but trusted their head coach’s intuition in the matter.
“[Belichick is] a genius,” said Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty. “He’s a genius. I mean the captains didn’t know. Were [were] like ‘Defer? Take the wind?’ And, it was obviously the best call, and it was a great call by him.”
Indeed, Belichick’s gutsy call paid off, and a Broncos fumble on a punt allowed New England to kick a field goal for a 34-31 win.
The Packers, on the other hand, might want to listen when the P.A. announcer calls out the rules next time they head into overtime.
Never go full McNabb.