Nine ways to fix NFL overtime

The 2019 AFC and NFC championship games will be remembered for the quality of the games almost as much as they’ll be remembered for how outraged both losing teams were that they were robbed. I’m kidding of course: In 10 years, NO ONE will remember anything about these games other than, “hey remember when that one dude gave that wide receiver instant CTE and they didn’t throw a flag?” AND “hey remember when Mahomes didn’t get the ball in overtime and then they finally changed the NFL overtime rules?” That’s just how life is, no one remembers that really good meal you had when your family went on vacation to Denver, but you all remember when you went on that fishing trip only to realize that sea sickness is as real as winter is cold and you all threw up your weight in fish you didn’t catch because fishing is hard. In NFL overtime, the way it is currently formatted, the team who wins the coin toss is 10% more likely to win the game than the team who loses. So, with that said, here are 9 ways to fix NFL overtime because lists of 10 are too cliche.

  1. Did you watch the LSU-Texas A&M, seven overtime game? Me neither; I was out doing things because football isn’t everything. But do I wish I had seen it? Kind of, yeah. Give the teams the ball at the 25, make them go for two every time, and have the most fun you could possibly have watching sports.

  2. You know that scene at the beginning of Troy where the Greek army is in some battle and they want to end it by having each side’s best warrior fight to the death and the winning warrior wins the battle for the whole squad? And then Brad Pitt arrives with his crazy ripped and oiled up body and just dominates the big guy in a split second? Either way, you get the point. Maybe fighting until death is a little extreme but I wouldn’t mind watching Aaron Donald and Gronk go head to head if the Patriots and Rams go to overtime this Sunday.

  3. Rock Paper Scissors. It’s quick, easy and who doesn’t want to see a bunch of stats guys in Tom Brady’s ear trying to tell him that statistically speaking, considering the clock and where they are on the field, Paper is the right call for this one. Count me in.

  4. Why don’t they just play an extra overtime period? In the regular season, I understand they want games to end quickly, but in the playoffs, just play an extra period, or shorten it to 10 minutes if you want. Has Roger Goodell never thought of that?? If not, perhaps I should be the NFL commissioner though I’ll have to double check to see if that position is more lucrative than owning a small improv comedy business.

  5. Each team has one chance to make what amounts to a two point conversion. Similar to College OT rules, but it will be much faster. One play to rule them all. Think of all the famous play calls we would remember forever? Last year’s “Philly Special” would just scratch the surface. “Hey remember when the Chiefs beat the Patriots by using “Deflategate!” where Mahomes pretends to hand the ball off but instead deflates the ball, puts it into his hand-warmer thingy and walks into the endzone?” Me too and it was awesome.

  6. How often have you heard announcers say, “Man it’s a real chess match between these two coaches out there today.” When you hear them say that, you’re probably thinking, “it’s not a chess match its a football game,” (“I can see you’ve played Knifey Spoony before,” bonus points if you get this reference.) But how about it, coaches are supposed to be smart, put them at midfield, bring out the chessboard and winner takes all.

  7. Both kickers get a chance to see how many times they can hit the post on one kick. Obviously if the Bears go to OT they automatically win because if Greg the Leg (The Rams kicker) is the king of hitting 60 yard bombs right down the middle, Cody Parkey is a fricken magician at hitting the post.

  8. But seriously though about my idea #7, kicking in football is stupid and it shouldn’t be a part of the game and it definitely shouldn’t be allowed in OT to win a game. If you’re good at kicking stuff go play soccer or start a professional kickball league.

  9. Each team gets five minutes to answer the question: “Why didn’t you score more points at the beginning of the game?” Whoever has the best answer according to me wins the game. Almost every NFL game goes the same way, both teams wander around for 3.5 quarters and then when they really need to in order to win, all of a sudden they can march down the field in 40 seconds, where was that at the beginning of the game? I want to know, tell me the answers and I will decide.


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© 2018 Ethan Blumenthal