NFL Ponders Weird New Overtime Rules
2/28/2010 10:33 AM ET By Dan Graziano
INDIANAPOLIS -- Because nothing beats a forced, gimmicky solution to something that's not really a problem, the NFL is talking about maybe possibly changing its overtime rules. The "modified sudden death" proposal that's apparently in its embryonic stages came to light Saturday via a tweet from SI.com's Peter King. More details emerged later, when an NFL commissioner's office employee began discussing it on Twitter. The gist is that the first team to score at least six points in overtime would win the game.
"Both teams would be guaranteed a possession unless first team w/ball scores TD," tweeted Greg Aiello, the league's Senior VP of Public Relations. "If first team kicks FG, other team gets ball. If it doesn't score, game over. If second team w/ball ties it w/FG, game continues till someone scores."
Cute idea, but sudden-death haters shouldn't get too excited too fast.
Aiello also tweeted a caution to "Keep in mind: this is a concept being discussed and to be taken up @ league meeting in late March," which is the key thing to know. The more you talked to people around the scouting combine Saturday night, the more you began to think this idea hadn't yet gained much traction.
League officials with competition committee connections, when asked by FanHouse about the proposal, expressed surprise that it was being discussed. Some said they hadn't even heard the idea yet. What seems to have happened is that this idea was proposed and sounded interesting to enough people that they agreed to talk about it again next month in Orlando.
Odds are pretty good that no changes will be made to the OT rules, which statistics show are actually kind of fine the way they are. When asked at the Super Bowl whether he was considering changes to overtime rules, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told a reporter not to hold his breath.
But if Aiello, who works for Goodell, was putting details of the idea out there in the Twitterverse, you have to think the commissioner is at least intrigued by this relatively new idea. So who knows? There could, someday in the future, be a meeting at which this is formally discussed. And someday way down the road, there may even be a day when it's approved.
As of now, though, this relatively senseless and unnecessary tinkering seems like a back-burner issue. Which is exactly what it should be.
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