NFL Overtime Debate: I Say "Kick It Out.."

John MaranoContributor IMarch 21, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 5:  David Akers #2 of the Philadelphia Eagles kicks a field goal during the game against the Washington Redskins on October 5, 2008 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The 70-s rock sirens, HEART, just might know a thing or two about how to solve the present NFL overtime debate: they said to "kick it out".

Hockey has a shoot--out.  Golf has a "sudden death" final hole(s).  Other sports allow teams to keep playing until someone scores more points than the other one.  The NFL is trying to debate/decide on changes to overtime rules.  Ironically, it makes sense.

Presently in the NFL, when two teams are tied at the end of regulation, an overtime period is played (Note to Mr. McNabb:  see above/previous statement).  The Referee tosses the coin again, and the winner of said toss usually elects to receive the kick--off, thus giving them the first right of refusal to at least kick a field goal.

Game over.  Usually.

The team that loses the toss mostly never gets their chance, unless the other team fails to score.  Let's ask the losers of many a playoff game their opinion of the present rule.  To a man, they would say the rule....well, I mean kids read this website...isn't what it should be.

The new idea is that teams that kick a field goal and make it, then kick off to allow the other team a chance.  If they succeed, they play on.  If the first team scores a touchdown, then it's over.  Dumb idea, because a kickoff return for a touchdown at the start of overtime wins it, and the issue isn't settled at all.

If we follow Ann and Nancy Wilsons' idea, let's have the kicker's duel it out from the kicking tee's.  They start from like, say, the 20 yard line.  Then the 30 yard line.  The 40...and so on until one of the kickers misses.  Now wait before you click over to another article, saying it's a waste of blockers' knees, unnecessary risk to players' health...yada, yada, yada.

I mean, just the kickers...alone...mano-a-mano...a man and his tee...or, for the real adventuresome outcome, the snapper, holder, and kicker.  Just to add some suspense (insert Tony Romo "holder" joke here).  No defenders, no blockers, no deep safety in case of a short kick.  What is there to lose?  Both teams get equal shots at winning, and the big, burly linemen and linebackers get to laugh from the sidelines...injury free.

Listen, I'm no football guru.  If Hockey can keep fans in the rink watching a "shoot out" that can determine the outcome of the game, why can't football?  It's relatively safe (I mean, what can happen injury wise, a chipped nail?), possibly entertaining, equal to both teams, and perhaps a better idea than "first team to score wins".

We can call it the "kick--off", "sudden victory", "shoot out", I don't know. 

I would think that teams would be drafting the next Lou "the Toe" Groza in hopes that he can pull one out in overtime.  Let's face it, purists...what ELSE do kickers do?  You know, the tiny little fella with tiny little shoes and tiny little shoulder pads? 

Imagine the scene...tie game after regulation...Super Bowl...your chance to win boils down to...the kicker.. attempt at 60 yards...the other guy fails and misses...your guy, your little guy...oh, the tension is building...the snap, the hold, the's long's straight enough...its...GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!  You win the game!!!  Look out Disney world, here we come...

Laugh if you want.  They laughed at the NFL--AFL merger.  It made it.  They laughed at the 16 game schedule.  It made it.  They laughed at NHL Hockey's version of a shootout.  It's making it.  It's only a suggestion, and that's way better than a critical remark. 

C'mon, NFL Rules Committee...take a chance.  Who knows...we might just get a "kick" out of it.