Ties in the NFL are unacceptable

November 27, 2013

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Multiple people, including legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, have been credited with saying “A tie is like kissing your sister.” That’s how the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers must have felt following last Sunday’s (Nov. 24) game that ended in a 26-26 tie.

The NFL needs to realize that any game ending in a tie is a failure. It’s unacceptable to have two teams with highly-paid individuals battle for four regular quarters and an extra 15-minute period to walk away without a winner. It has to be frustrating for all those involved, and from this fan’s perspective, it’s amateurish. I think the league should follow the example of Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Play the game until a winner is determined.

In 2012, the NFL adopted an overtime rule change that allowed both teams the opportunity to possess the ball in the extra period unless the team that won the coin toss only scored a field goal. I like the idea of both teams getting the chance to have the ball if a touchdown isn’t scored by the team receiving the kickoff in overtime.

They could easily modify the current rule reinstating the “sudden death” aspect that was in place prior to 2012. I propose that if the two teams are still tied following the initial overtime period, then they could proceed to as many sudden-death periods as necessary to declare a winner. The first team to score any type of points would win.

My other idea for any extra periods after the initial 15 minutes of overtime would be to eliminate the coin toss to determine who gets the ball first. I suggest they base it on something more closely associated with the game. For instance, the team with fewer penalties would get the ball first, or perhaps it could be based on a combination of which team has the most number of first downs and total yardage. It would make those statistics meaningful and lessen the importance of luckily guessing “heads” or “tails.”

Now, that would be a winner!

From the Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2013, issue

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