National Football League.
The game of inches is so far from perfect than we would like to think. NFL lays down the rules to the nitty-gritty. One inch here or there is the difference between a win or a loss. And with only 16 regular-season games, a win here and a loss there is the difference between getting a chance at playing for the Valued Lombardi Trophy.
The one sport which seemingly has a rule for every scenario one might come up after their umpteenth beer while sitting on the couch has a flawed ending scenario. Your favorite team is down by 17 points at half, battling for the playoff spot they manage to add points to cut the lead while managing to hold the other team from adding on.
On the last drive of the game, two-minute drill drive down in the teeth of the vaunted defense you come up with a field goal to tie the game. Once down by 17 points with a half to go and a ticket to playoff football, your team has managed to come all the way back to tie the game.
Phew!! you say? Breathe a sigh of relief? Plan your outings for football in January with your favorite team. Hold on!
Your team looses the coin-toss, the other team gets the ball. Kick returner gets the ball to the 27-yard line. First play a run to the left a short gain of three. Second play a screen pass to the right, gain of one. Third play (3rd-and-6 if you're already lost) the offense decides to open up.
A streak down the line to the right. The receiver has the ball in his grasp but cant quite haul it in. Great play by the Corner with the safety closing in just in case if your worst nightmare comes true. But not this time, the receiver never had the ball.
But wait, a flag, Pass Interference call, first down at the spot of the foul!!
Devastating, the ball is now on your 33. Couple run plays here and there and out comes the kicker to try to win the game. A 47-yard field goal try, it's up, and it's good! And your team goes home.
Imagine that feeling in the stomach. Unreal, Unbelievable, Unfair. How can national football league have guys bust it out for four quarters in at times unhealthy conditions and all they get for finishing the game with the tie score is a sudden death overtime?
One possession, the "coin toss winner" wins all!!
Now one might argue that maybe your teams defense should have stopped them to get the ball back. Fair argument but go back to that pass interference call. What if...about the pass interference, or a hold or face-mask...what if the referees missed a call or saw something that wasn't there?
After all, referees are still human, not robots. What about the spot of the ball on a 3rd-and-inches?? After all, referees see the ball, blow the whistle, and then run to the spot where they think the play ended, this while moving the players out of the way and drawing an imaginary straight line to look at the official down markers on the other side of field.
What if...all this happened at NFL's grandest stage, the Super Bowl!!
Of the 15 overtime games played in 2007, seven games were won by the team that won the coin-toss on their first possession.
Why do the seven teams deserve a loss when they never got a chance to play for a tie in OT?
Let the play in overtime go for one more possession. Let the other teams offense get a shot at either tying the game or winning it all. That way, all three aspects of this beautifully complicated game participates in the bonus round.
Your team goes down the field, kicks a field-goal, the other team gets the ball you stop them you win. They go down the field and score a touchdown, you choked.
Another possession wouldn't hurt NFL? Heck we should think about playing another possession in an overtime game before expanding regular season games from 16 to 18. It's not only fair but is the true way of finding out the real winners from fluke game-enders.
After all the far lesser games than ours (Soccer, Baseball, Basketball...) all have an equal opportunity overtime.
Heck even NHL figured out what is right.
Right for the players, the teams, the fans and the game! And if the NHL knows this much, NFL should be eons ahead of them.
America's Game...the new national pastime best fix their flawed thinking before the Super Bowl victories are looked at as...yes you guessed it, "Flawed!"
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