When the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles ended in a 13-13 tie, it once again highlighted one of the reasons why the National Football League will never match the collegiate game for excitement.
The NFL allowing a football game to end without a winner is just about as stupid and pointless as when Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig allowed the All-Star Game to end in a tie!
If a sporting event can end in a tie score, then what is the point in even playing the game?
After years of ties in college football, the NCAA finally had the brains to do away with the practice. It was one of the best rule changes they ever made. In addition, it brought a level of excitement and suspense to the game that the NFL can only hope to match!
Unlike Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb, I actually knew that NFL games can end in a tie. Perhaps the reason I had forgotten is the fact that it rarely happens. Normally, the winner of the coin flip is the winner of the game. They quickly advance the ball down field and promptly kick a field goal.
Game over! And the other team never even touches the football.
That isn’t a game of skill; it’s a game of chance.
The NFL has two major problems with its overtime format. Along with the fact that a game that goes into overtime can end in a tie, there is also the problem that an NFL game can be won with only one team ever getting the ball.
What is fair or competitive about that?
If they are simply going to settle the game with a coin flip, perhaps they should just eliminate the running, passing, blocking, and tackling as well. Maybe the NFL could determine the winner in overtime with a throw of the dice or a spirited spelling bee.
The National Football league needs to follow the lead of the NCAA and establish an overtime format much the same as they currently play in college. However, instead of the NFL placing the ball on the 25-yard line as they do in college, the professional game could place the ball on the 50.
Each team would get a chance to score a touchdown or kick a field goal. Then on the third overtime attempt or any successive ones, each team would be forced to go for the two-point conversion. Now that would make for an exciting game and the fans would love it.
It would also forever end the pointless exercise of games being neither won nor lost!
Football is a rough and violent game played by tough and skilled professionals. It is also a uniquely American game. That is why a National Football League game should never be won in overtime by a single coin toss and a lone, soccer-style free kick.
Football fans deserve better. The game deserves better.
Moreover, the NFL's "sudden death" overtimes can never match the thrills and excitement of college football if they continue to tie one on!