Our capacity as sports fans to turn something beautiful into a source of angst or even outrage is a head-shaker.
Yeah, you bet I’m talking about the NFL’s overtime system, and the screeching that has followed, gee, I don’t know…the best football game I ever saw?
I’m reminded of Don Meredith’s MNF line. “Dang, Howard, if you were married to Raquel Welch, you’d expect her to cook.”
Or, Chris Rock as Lil’ Penny promoting Penny’s new tv show back in the day. “That was Tyra Banks, foo!!”
Hell, everybody. Calm down and just admire the view.
“Both teams should have a chance to touch the ball!”
Both teams did have a chance to touch the ball. One team simply did not avail itself of that chance. “Some gotta win, some gotta lose. Goodtime Charlie’s got the blues…”
Let’s back up. Yes, the NFL’s old pure “sudden death” system eventually reached a point at which it didn’t work, because of field goal kickers who could call in a precision air-strike from Siberia. Win the toss, get a half-decent kickoff return, complete one medium out-route, trot Franz out on the field, win the game and let the good times roll.
So, the NFL did what it always does. It evolved. Kust kicking a FG on the first possession of overtime no longer gets it done. But an offensive touchdown wins it. But wait, so does a defensive touchdown. So does a safety. Or if a defense forces a turnover that leads to a FG, it’s over.
So, the problem here is…what? Other than your insistence on bellyaching and caterwauling (I love that word) pretty much just to hear yourself shriek.
You prefer the college OT system? So you want a baseball game that ends in the bottom of the 15th with a basketball score?
That ain’t football. Don’t even get me started. All we’re doing there is pairing red zone offenses against red zone defenses ad nauseam until somebody gets dizzy, falls off the merry-go-round and pukes.
Now, I will say this. The best—and purest–way to settle this would simply be to put fifteen more minutes on the clock and just continue to play football. And if the game is still tied after that, put another 15 up and let it roll. Let’s dance all night if we have to, Audrey.
But that would require that the medical tents on the sidelines contain 106 body bags and toe tags.
The current OT structure ain’t broke. And it don’t need fixin’.
Dan Jenkins once wrote that nothing in this world is Dead Solid Perfect.
That game Sunday night came pretty dang close. And that includes the ending.