Thursday, 4 February 2010

Should the NFL change the overtime rule so its not based on a coin flip?

Yes. Probably. At the very core of sport in general is the desire to give both teams a level playing field (see: 'Picking Teams In The Playground'). This is seen even more in America where sports are within a closed league, with the teams who do worst in the previous season getting the best of the perks when it comes to transfers and picks before the next season (see: 'Terribly Confusing Draft System - So Much Easier When Unrealistic Amounts Of Money Are Exchanged For Prima Donnas).

So, it's a bit weird that when it comes to overtime, the NFL (and possibly other sports. You got the 'unresearched' option for this post.) likes to flip a coin to see who gets the kick-off. Now, for the uninitiated, whoever wins the coin flip is more or less likely to win the game, because they are given the chance to attack, which, unless something goes horribly wrong, the defending team cannot do until the attacking team fails to... ah, nevermind. Basically, you flip, you lose the cointoss, your chances of losing increase significantly. It's damned unfair.

However, the majority of games are not won on the first possession in overtime. There is just a bizarre link between winning the cointoss and teams winning the game. Perhaps if you feel you have the good fortune to win a 50-50 bet, you're probably the fastest and strongest and best at kicking.

And yet, leaked data does suggest that the NFL are looking to change this rule. The options that the NFL are exploring are as follows:

Footrace: You take the heaviest player on the team, often a fat defensive lineman, and put him in a race with the heaviest player of the opposing team. They have to run the full 99 yards, and the winner then gets a rest as his offence can take to the field for overtime.

Cheerleader Toss: In a variation on the current rule, a shiny curvy thing is taken, and instead of seeing which side it lands on, she is thrown by the lightest player on the team to see how far she goes. The NFL realise that this could be dangerous, but points will be awarded for the landing, just to add extra incentive to try and keep her alive.

Celebrity fan: Who can wheel out the most famous celebrity fan from the crowd? They celebrities will then be judged by a panel of nerds, especially handpicked for their aversion to daylight and lack of knowledge of real life or 'RL' as it's known. It is understood that the Washington Redskins have made a pre-emptive bid for Leonard Nimoy, should this option be chosen.

And thus concludes my thoughts about the NFL cointoss. I sincerely apologise if it didn't get the serious treatment you thought it deserved, but then, we're talking about a sport that had Prince play a set at half time.

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