As Vikant posted in the FanPosts last night, there is a proposal on the table to change the current format of overtime in the National Football League. Anyone that saw the NFC Championship Game. . .or, really, any other OT NFL game over the past, say, three decades or so. . .can tell you that the NFL's current overtime format is awful and is a complete joke, and the proposal that's out there certainly is an interesting one. (Link via Pro Football Talk)
The jist of the proposed overtime rule is that each team would get a possession unless the first team with the ball goes down and scores a touchdown. If the team that got the ball first in overtime went down and scored a field goal, their opponents would get an opportunity to play offense. If they scored a field goal, it would then go to sudden death. . .if they failed to score, the team that played offense first would win. However, if the team that got the ball first in overtime scored a touchdown on their first possession, then the game would be over.
In short, a team couldn't get the ball first in overtime, move the ball downfield with the assistance of three or four absolute horse crap calls from the officials. . .including, say, a pass interference call where two players don't even make physical contact with each other. . .kick a field goal from about 40 yards out, and prevent a team with an offense that they really hadn't stopped all night from having the ball in the extra session.
Hypothetically, of course. I mean, I can't remember the last time a situation like that actually happened.
The word is that the NFL would like to try this system in the post-season first to see if it would be effective for all the games, which doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense to me. The regular season games should be contested under the same rules as the post-season games, in my opinion. Otherwise, what's the point? Regular season games can end in ties (right, Donovan?), but post-season games obviously can't, so there's a difference right there.
But, honestly, this proposal is light years better than what the NFL currently has for an overtime format, and I sincerely hope that it gets pushed through, even if it is just for the post-season for right now. This is definitely something to keep an eye on as the off-season moves along.