1) The NFL is missing out on an untapped level of excitement
2) With the new overtime rules, ties will start to occur at a higher rate
3) No longer could a team sit on the ball in overtime to back into the playoffs
Remember this game?
In probably my favorite basketball game of all time, the Connecticut Huskies and Syracuse Orange men’s basketball teams went to an unrealistic six overtimes in a 2009 thriller at Madison Square Garden. One of those games that, according to the laws of sports, is illegal to turn off.
Now obviously, football will never see a six overtime game. It would require a shutout by both teams for almost three halves. I like the rule changes (click here for all changes) the NFL has instilled, but I say take it a step further. If the score is tied at the end of overtime, play until the tie is broken.
1) The NFL is missing out on an untapped level of excitement
Overtime or extra innings are one of the few ways to scratch deep enough to see the true heart of every player and team. When you’ve played so long that the unanimous thought is, “Well, if I’m gonna play for this long, I’d better win.”
It’s the purest form of sports. When every player is focused solely on winning, not money, not girls, not any outside force.
At the human brink of exhaustion, “I’ll bet I can last longer and play harder than you,” is fun to watch from the outside. Regardless of the outcome, a double overtime football game would headline all sports talk the following day.
It’s why I hold true that sports are the ultimate reality television. The NBA didn’t give scripts to Reggie Miller and Spike Lee or Magic and Larry.
You want to see the human body in its truest and purest form of determination? Show me Ray Lewis and the Ravens against Roethlisberger and the Steelers to start the third overtime.
2) With the new overtime rules, ties occur at a higher rate
You may not like ties. I don’t, and neither did the NHL. Hockey cut ties with ties (intended) after the 2005 lockout to a world of success. The excitement was higher and the conclusions became more fun to watch.
Think of any book or TV show you ever enjoyed. Imagine the book ending before the climax.
Yes, hockey gets ties at higher rates, but I think it’s wrong to cut any sports game off before it has been decided.
The new NFL rules will generate more ties because the game no longer ends simply when one team has scored. How many ties will it take before the fans get mad? The NHL fans hit their limit about eight years ago. I believe NFL fans will hit theirs once they realize there are now multiple ties a year, not one every four.
3) No longer can a team sit on the ball in overtime to back into the playoffs
Imagine this scenario:
The Giants and Eagles are both 9-6, playing for the final NFC playoff spot in the final game of the regular season. It’s Monday Night Football. The Giants beat the Eagles earlier in the year, but the Eagles would own the tiebreaker with a win.
Giants get to the playoffs with a win or tie.
Eagles get to the playoffs with a win only.
After a big interception at the two minute warning in overtime, the Giants find themselves backed up at their own five-yard line. The Eagles have no timeouts, and New York kneels the ball three times to secure their playoff spot.
I don’t think that’s the “right” way to settle a game so important. Herm Edwards is right: You play to win the game. I don’t think sports should ever put a team in a situation where that’s not necessarily the case.
Yes, injuries are the downside of multiple overtimes. And with the concussion mess the NFL finds themselves in, I don’t believe the timing is right to instill additional risk.
But in the worst case scenario where doctors discover a heavy link between almost all NFL players and concussions, the sport will not stop anywhere in the near future. You can’t tell a kid he can’t play football.
On the professional level, players will not take themselves out of a double overtime game because they risk a concussion. The players want to play. The fans want more football. Advertisers want more air time and the NFL wants more money.
All variables considered, the NFL should flirt with a rules change. Make regular season games like playoff ones. No winner has been decided after 75 minutes? Keep going. You play to win the game.
Name any batting title-eligible player on every MLB team in the last ten years. Example: Derek Jeter bangs out the whole Yankees part of the quiz. I should have done much better on this one. I got a meager 192 for 300.
Post your score on my Facebook page if you wish to rub it in my face.
If you lie about your score, your aunt and uncle will forget their WiFi password when you go there for Thanksgiving next week and you’ll have to rely solely on your data plan.
Alex Rodriguez is a burden to the Yankees. His off-the-field attention plus on-the-field mediocrity has failed him in New York.
Yesterday the Mets made a bold (but smart) decision to remove Jason Bay despite the $21 million left on his contract. They decided it was time.
I think it’s A-Rod’s time.
But to lessen the financial blow, the Yankees could make a move that brings in a separate terrible contract.
Could the Yankees retrade A-Rod for Alfonso Soriano?
In 2004, the Yankees sent Soriano, cash, and a player to be named later (eventually Joaquin Arias who just won a World Series ring) for Rodriguez. It was the blockbuster trade that guaranteed the Yankees World Series titles for the next five years.
Today, it would be the blockbuster trade that ends A-Rod’s underachieving, borderline embarrassing run in the Big Apple.
Yes, the Yankees don’t need Soriano, or even want him, but a designated hitter, late-game pinch hitter, and occasional corner outfielder (Nick Swisher has played his last game in New York) would be of value.
Soriano’s team hasn’t won a playoff series since 2003. I’m sure he’ll trade a demotion for a real chance at a championship. Ichiro Suzuki did.
In what may be sports’ most immovable contract, Rodriguez is slated to make $114 million over the next five years – five more years of this.
No team will take him unless given a going-out-of-business discount. Plus, Rodriguez is a 10-5 player (ten years in the league, the latest five for the same team) so he can veto any trade.
With his home and heart in Florida, how about Rodriguez to the Rays, Soriano back to the Yankees, and Tampa prospects to the Chicago Cubs?
The poor, loveable loser Cubs have the equally inconvenient piece to rid. Soriano is owed $36 million over the next two years. If the Yankees pick up Soriano’s full contract, Chicago would gladly pay $36 million of Rodriguez’s contract to gain essentially “free” prospects and open up room on the roster. They might pay up to $40 million if the prospects are right.
The Yankees’ former second baseman strikes out way too much and is unequivocally overpaid – fits right in with the Yankees already. Chicago would jump to lower their salary, and I believe Soriano would return to New York (also a 10-5 player) where he was a fan favorite in the early 2000s.
The Yankees can rid themselves of the cancer into which Rodriguez has manifested and pay a smaller portion of his salary.
$114 million – $40 million = The Yankees eat $74 million.
The city of Miami wants Alex Rodriguez and vice versa. With A-Rod’s abysmal production since his fantastic 2009, the Yankees can probably get Miami to pay him $25 million over his last five years (including the prospect[s] they send to Chicago).
$74 million – $25 million ≈ $50 million
Get: Tampa prospects
Give away: 40 million to pad Rodriguez’s salary
Give away: Alfonso Soriano to Yankees
New York Yankees
Get: Alfonso Soriano
Give Away: Alex Rodriguez to Miami
Lose: The remaining $50 or-so million on Rodriguez’s contract
Get: Alex Rodriguez ($25 million over five years)
Give Away: A prospect or two to Chicago
When all is said and done, why cant this work?
Brian Cashman and the Yankees have declared publicly they are trying to get below the $180 million mark for luxury tax relief, and with Soriano they would only owe $18 million per year over the next two, versus about $23 million per year over the next five.
The best trades are the ones where all parties improve. At this point in Rodriguez’s career, the Yankees will benefit from a divorce, the Cubs can win some prospects, and Miami gets street value for a fun, back-page player who wants to be there.
Do you think Derek Jeter could talk Scott Brosius out of retirement?