March 25, 2010

Change is in the air

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

The NFL has started the wheels turning and actually changed one of their rules that was antiquated and hasn’t made sense for years. From here on out, if a playoff game goes into overtime, there will be no more griping about a field goal deciding a team’s biggest game of the season without having had a chance with the ball. There was nothing worse than a one-possession game ruining someone’s season.

Just look at the past two post-seasons for great examples of why this rule needed to changed; New Orleans beat Minnesota this year and San Diego beat Indianapolis last year. In both games, the losing team never had a chance to touch the ball before a field goal was launched for the win.

When the overtime rule was originally drafted, kickers weren’t nearly as accurate from distance like they are now and kickoffs were pushed further back, causing a longer way to go before getting into range. All that it really took to win in overtime was a decent return, two, maybe three first downs and then a 40-yard field goal.

Who wouldn’t want this rule to change? Well, apparently, four teams were on the opposing side of things: The Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals. It especially weird that the Viking voted against a change since they suffered the most recent – and supposed last – travesty under the old system.

So, the question I now have is why this wasn’t expanded to the regular season? Down the stretch, games are just as important to some teams as playoff contests; why should the rules be different? A change wouldn’t affect the end of overtime and a potential tie, it would only affect the beginning. So, why not go all the way?

Now, apparently the coaches of the NFL need to grow up. A story on claims that some of them are upset about the rule change and/or how it was implemented. Seriously now? These are grown men that are being paid big money to make decisions on the football field for their teams and now they’re crying because they could potentially have one more? This is their jobs and they can’t use the excuse that they didn’t know what was going on with the owners meetings; it was front page news everyday on the major sports news sites. These guys need to grow a pair and accept that change is in the air.


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