Alternative NFL Overtime Rules
It's been long enough that you probably forgot about the vomit-inducing New England Patriots' win in Superbowl: Gaga Edition, in which we were all reminded that the Patriots can never win without enlisting some outside help. This time it wasn’t of their own doing – recording practices or deflating balls – but the machine’s. Daddy Goodell’s stubbornness and pride helped his arch-nemesis win the big game, all because he refuses to overhaul the rules governing overtime. In the current iteration, you win if you score a touchdown. This meant that the league MVP, Matt Ryan, didn’t get to touch the ball as he slowly dissolved into a puddle of tears.
There has to be a better way, right? Or at least a different one? Can Jeb fix it?
Option 1: Just extend the fourth quarter. Add 15 minutes onto the clock and don’t bother kicking the damn thing off again. Because that makes strategy matter, or something. Add a commercial break so you can make a few hundred more grand. Rating – boring.
Option 2: Easily the most exciting overtime gimmick in any sport is the penalty kick in soccer. Line up the kickers, and have them go turn-by-turn booting in field goals from 30, 40, and 50 yards, and then keep going from 50 yards until one misses and the other one makes. Not only do you now have a definite end to the game, but it gives credibility to the dumb people who say that special teams are just as important as offense or defense. Rating – super exciting, but Americans have shown they don’t care about soccer. Ugh.
Option 3: Use the NCAA rules! (I think that’s the first time anyone’s said that sentence about anything. NCAA rules always make everything worse. Like, you know, not getting to eat dinner if you’re an athlete.) Line each team up at the 40 yard line, and see if they can score, and make the other team match or beat it. It might still favor one team, but at least both teams get a chance to score and flaunt the craziest schemes in their playbooks. Rating – possibly emasculating, since the NCAA is little brother to the NFL, and you never listen to little brother.
Option 4: Mics are placed in every team’s locker room throughout the season – or have Antonio Brown play for every team – and the team with the best locker-room talk gets the ball first. No? Let’s move on.
Option 5: Call it a draw and move on! Can't everybody win? Rating – I'm a millennial
Option 6: Have the two quarterbacks go head-to-head in a game of dodgeball. Wouldn’t you want to see Russell Wilson's ability to scramble out of the pocket go up against Aaron Rodgers' accurate cannon arm? After all, for all the hype about quarterback matchups, the best offensive players never share the field, so we never actually see them go against each other (in stark contrast to basketball). Rating – Probably more concussions.
Sidenote: Even though Brady threw the ball over 60 times during the game, the Superbowl MVP should definitely be Matthew Slater. Don’t worry if you don’t know who that is – I actually checked whether he was Christian Slater’s adopted brother, or Matthew Perry with inverted skin color. Turns out he’s a receiver and special teams guy on the Pats, who did fuck-all during the game, but made the decisive play call. It was at the 50-yard line, when he called ‘Heads’ on the coin toss. M V P!