Posted by: hawaiianhaircut | 03/23/2010

Goodbye Sudden Death

Lets start with this: I’d consider myself a traditionalist when it comes to the glory that is NFL football.  Of course this extends to other things such as a deep hatred for the Kaiser, demanding that women stay home, bear children, and bake delicious pies and cakes, and a staunch insistence that people who are different should drink from different water fountains.  Unlike these logical conclusions, the NFL’s decision to change from true sudden death to disturbing new version is a strange one.

Supposedly, the three facets of football are equal (even though there are no true special teamers in the Hall).   We all knew this was a myth anyway, with the rules clearly favoring the offense with all the new defensive penalties for breathing on an offensive player. Lets not even start with the QB rules; asking Drew Brees directions to Sonic is now a 15 yard penalty.  Now with the new overtime rules, the team to get the ball first can’t win on a field goal.  Note that this applies in the playoffs only, and only 3 (THREE!) playoff games have ever been decided on a first drive FG.  So why do this? The demand from such pundits such as Peter King??!  

If truly the facets of the game are equal, like they should be treated, the team that looses the toss should be able to play some D and kick coverage and get the ball back.  Now with the new rule…on the first possession the defense in certain scenarios will play strategy differently.  Conceivably, they will be willing to concede yardage between their own 35/30yd line to endzone instead of taking chances to stop the offense cold at the 35 (52 yard attempt), just to protect against a TD.  A longer FG is certainly tougher on the kicker, but it won’t beat them so they may play it safe and give it up just to get the ball back.

This may have been spurned on by the Vikings losing to the Saints in this fashion this playoff (even though the Vikes owner voted against), but in that overtime period the Vikings had several chances to make stops.  They didn’t make those plays, and therefore deserved to lose.  They even had a fourth and short opportunity and couldn’t make a stop. 

Any change to the overtime rule would have been intolerable to me, and this one is as bad as I thought.  If one aspect of the game was going to get marginalized anyway, then just say the winner of the toss in OT gets the ball at the 2o yard line instead of a kickoff (since according to supporters, no one can cover kicks in OT).  It is as if the league has announced that this is an offensive league, the rules favor it, so we’ll throw the defense a bone and say you know what? You don’t really need to stop them. Just keep em outta the end zone.  We’ll still give your O a shot. A great defense, in playoff football, when the stakes are at their highest, is going to make a play when they need to.  A sack.  A third down stop.  A pick perhaps?  Ask my man C.Web…he knows all about it.

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