NFL OT Rules Aren't Changing Any Time Soon

Ray GassertContributor IMarch 2, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 11:  Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles cheer from the stands during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field on October 11, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

We've all argued about NFL OT with someone by now.  Some people like it, some people hate it and most of us tolerate it.  Well, those that hate it need to get used to the idea that it's not changing.  Ever.  Here's why.

The NFL is not just a sporting event on TV.  It is a TV Product, the same thing as The Oscars or The Movie of the Week.  It is a packaged product, set to run from 1pm to 4:15pm.  The OT rules basically guarantee completion in that time frame. 

It is extremely rare to get a lengthy OT period due to the sudden death.  This is on purpose.  So they're never changing to the awful college system or playing a full period.  At least not in the regular season.  Which leads us to...

The OT rule change to be voted on soon is a good compromise, but telling in that they're only considering it for postseason games.  Don't you find it odd that they're only considering something that will lengthen games when the schedule is at its lightest?  If the league actually cared, wouldn't they try something new on less important games? 

Personally, I think the current system is the best system.  The numbers support that the myth of winning the coin toss and winning the game is just that, a myth.  Since 1974, 52 percent of coin toss winners have won that game.  To be fair, I should note that about 60 percent of coin toss winners have won the game in the last five years, a nod to improved kicking, but also to rules that have made the NFL a seven on seven drill. 

I am not in favor of anything deciding a game that is a bastardization of that game.  NHL four on four, NHL shootouts, college football OT are all remarkable kicks in the groin of sports. 

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I can't defend any of you that like the college OT system.  It is not a true test of football and it is unsafe for the players.  Because of the desire to have the ball last, as you get into multiple OTs, defenses end up on the field on back to back series.  That is why guys get hurt and also why the OT's never stop. 

The NFL is killing every other league right now.  I don't see the point in trying to fix something that is unbroken just because Brett Favre didn't get a possession in OT in the NFC Championship game.