Hangover: How to spice up OT in the NFL

A tie is like kissing your sister. That’s the saying.

Granted, not all sisters are created equal. The 49ers, eyeing a first-round playoff bye, played the lowly Rams at home and were 11-point favorites. The sister they kissed is ugly with bad teeth and halitosis, and their middle-school friends taped them kissing and put it up on YouTube, and now their entire seventh-grade year is, like, totally ruined.

After three consecutive losses, the Rams were probably just hoping not to get killed in San Francisco. The sister they kissed is a hot half-sister. One they never even met until they made out at a hotel bar. They get married, have kids and live a happy life. Only decades later do they discover their relation. A movie is made about them, they become millionaires and before they die, they give their money to science and a cure for five diseases is found.

See the difference? It’s subtle, but it’s there.

Either way, sister-kissing is not a desired outcome to an NFL game. Here are some overtime alternatives that would give us a winner and a loser.

Play overtime under whatever rules the players think exist

Remember how Donovan McNabb didn’t know that ties existed? AHHHHHHahahahaha. What a dummy. The thing is, many NFL players don’t know the NFL overtime rules.

Rams receiver Danny Amendola thought there would be a second overtime Sunday. 49ers safety Dashon Goldson was equally confused: "I didn't know you could tie. When I saw both sides walking onto the field, I was like, 'Where's everybody going?'"

So if an NFL overtime period ends in a tie, why not just poll the two teams playing: “What do YOU guys think happens now?” Whatever response is most popular, go with that. No doubt it would be hilariously entertaining.

Steel cage linemen death match

Put the linemen from each team in a steel cage at the middle of the field. The team with the last remaining lineman alive wins the game. Of course, all of the linemen would be required to wear helmets during the death match to prevent concussions. We’re not barbarians.

Fan attrition

Both teams have to keep playing until one team scores or all of the fans in the stadium get bored and leave. But what if there isn’t a winner by that point? Who cares? No one, clearly.

Biggest market wins

Just give the victory to the team from the bigger market. This is how many decisions at the NFL league office already are made. At least be consistent.

Three-cone drill competition

The three-cone drill is part of the player evaluation process at the NFL combine. Why? No one knows. Just as no has ever heard this sentence: “His draft stock is plummeting after a poor showing in the three-cone drill,” because it’s never been said.

But now we could give the three-cone drill some meaning. Make every player from each team do it, and the team with the lowest cumulative time wins the game. Still tied? Time for a shuttle run-off! Still tied? To the Wonderlic exam room!

Hottest sisters

At the end of the first overtime, all players are forced to produce a glamor shot of their sister(s). Fan voting is then conducted via Twitter with hashtags such as #49ersSisters or #RamsSisters. The team deemed to have the most attractive sisters wins. Not only is this a good way to determine the outcome of a football game, I think I just created the next reality show blockbuster: “America’s Hottest Sister.” I just need to get some buttons and spinny chairs and we can have this on the air by the end of the week.

Quote of the Week

“Not that I know of. I was too busy doing high-fives and spiking the ball." -- Sam Koch, Ravens’ punter, on if he noticed whether the Raiders were angry after he ran in a fake field goal for a touchdown with Baltimore up 41-17.

It’s easy, perhaps even deserving, to criticize the Ravens for running up the score on the Raiders. Not only does it seem disrespectful -- although the Raiders to a man said it was on them to stop the fake -- it gives away a play Baltimore could use against legitimate competition. Yet it is impossible to be upset about a punter scoring a touchdown. Especially a punter who says “doing high-fives.” This is clearly not a man who has celebrated much in his life.

“Hey, guys, I really enjoyed doing high-fives with you. We should do them again sometime.”

“Get lost, nerd.”

Stat of the Week


Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw his 420th career touchdown pass Sunday, tying him for second all time. Yes, 420. Colorado has become a stoner movie. I can’t wait to see their alternate hemp jerseys.

Misleading Stat of the Week


Carson Palmer has thrown for 782 yards over the past two weeks. Unfortunately, the Raiders have lost 42-32 and 55-20 in those games. Oakland plays New Orleans this week and should fall behind early about 75-0, meaning Palmer will have to throw a lot again. Pick him up for your fantasy team. What? Are you insane? Don’t worry. His 900 yards passing will cancel out his seven interceptions.

This Week’s Horrible Fantasy Team That Crushed Your Team

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals: 21-for-30, 199 yards, 4 TD

Danny Woodhead, RB, Patriots: 61 total yards, 2 TD

Andre Brown, RB, Giants: 94 total yards, TD

Danario Alexander, WR, Chargers: 5 catches, 134 yards, TD

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars: 6 catches, 105 yards, TD

Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens: 5 catches, 67 yards, TD

Photos of the Week

“If you ever need any tips from a veteran, rook, just let me know.”

“Golly gosh darn shucks aw’mighty.”

“I wish we didn’t have to be mediocre in the regular season.”

“These are of the guy who plays quarterback at Texas A&M now? Wow. He’s awesome.”

“Don’t worry. If the Madden jinx injures you, know that an injury can make you even better.”

“Don’t you have to start making toys soon?”

“Yeah, that’s right. Look who has the second-best arm on the field today.”

“I can’t believe this. Nobody from Buffalo thinks he’s cool enough to hang out with me.”

“Keep your head up. You made some old men in Florida very happy today.”

“Whoa. Too much gumbo.”

“Oh, really? This is how much I care about your opinion.”

“So our college teams really suck, huh?”

“There has to be an easier way to get the cheerleaders onto the field.”

“Just wondering: Why you don’t play like this more than two or three times a season?”

“Give that back, you! I was using that! Wait your turn!”

“Remember how you thought you were going to be good in the NFL?”

“Good catch. You can stay out an extra 15 minutes tomorrow night.”

“Stop booing. You people wanted me out here.”

“You guys really stink at celebrating. Can’t say I’m surprised.”

News Conference Questions Someone Should Have Asked

Tom Coughlin: “Considering you are strict about your players showing up to meetings on time, have you ever considered requiring your players to show up for every game?”

Leslie Frazier: “Will you require all of your players to tear an ACL at the end of the season and, if not, why?”

Andy Reid: “In a game like that, do you ever take a moment to appreciate the moment, knowing it could be the last time you are cursed at and booed by tens of thousands of strangers?”

Reader Twitter Question of the Week

It’s time to update the Sports King Power Rankings:

5) Los Angeles Kings

This is one of the worst Stanley Cup repeat attempts of all time. Fact.

4) King Hippo

Initially a challenge, he was easy to beat once you figured out where to punch him. A disgrace to his native land.

3) King Hill

He played quarterback for the Eagles from 1961 to 1968. He threw 29 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. Perhaps the Eagles should steer clear of Kings from now on.

2) King Dunlap

Should be overthrown and replaced by democracy. Surely voters can be trusted to pick someone who can block.

1) Sacramento Kings

They lost to the Lakers. How pathetic.

ELITE Quarterback of the Week

Is Andy Dalton ELITE?

Evidence for him: He took a team to the playoffs as a rookie and he just beat ELIte Manning by throwing four touchdowns. Also, you can’t spell DANDY without ANDY.

Evidence against him: He plays for the Bengals, his team has a losing record this season, he is a ginger and beating Eli Manning in the regular season isn't really all that impressive. Also, you can’t spell CANDYTUFT, a small garden plant, without ANDY.

Five Things I Thought to Think While Thinking Thoughts

1. Is Joe Vitt the greatest interim coach of ALL TIME? He is 2-1 and knocked off the undefeated Falcons. He’s definitely helping his resume for the Interim Coach Hall of Fame.

Right now the greatest interim coaches of all time probably are Marv Levy and Marty Schottenheimer. They both came in as interims and then had success -- but never won a Super Bowl. This is a lesson for the Eagles, Chargers and Jets: Making a change in the middle of the season likely won’t get you any closer to a winning a championship. It’s best to play out the string with your lousy coach. Here’s why:

a) Your incompetent coach put together his staff. You really think there’s some genius waiting in the wings? For example, the Eagles have Marty Mornhinweg, the former Lions coach who once elected to kick off in overtime. You want him taking over? No. Crap hires crap. There are no Lombardis on the staff.

b) If you’re looking to get rid of a coach in the middle of a season, that means your record stinks. And that usually means your talent stinks. Why make a change in hopes of getting to .500 or slipping into the playoffs? You need better players, which means you need better draft picks. Don’t mess up your draft position by winning a few games. Ride your awful coach all the way to the slaughterhouse.

c) Keeping a failed head coach for a full season is good for the local economy. If the Eagles fire Reid, for example, sales of this shirt and this shirt would plummet. In this economy, we need all the bad coaches we can get.

2. Great work by the Eagles fan in the paper bag, by the way. Too many fans today don’t take the time to personalize their paper bag to look like the person they hate. Nice work by that guy.

3. Rams rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein has gotten a lot of publicity. He has all the tools. A powerful leg. And cool, marketable nicknames like Young G.Z. and Legatron. But I think we’re seeing he doesn’t yet have what it takes to be one of the greats. He is not an ELITE kicker. Zuerlein needs to come through late in games when he has the game on his foot. That’s his job. Long, booming field goals in the first quarter are nice, but the fourth quarter and overtime is where legends are made. Zuerlein hasn’t been coming through there. And until he proves he can deliver in the clutch, it’s time the Zuerlein hype ends. It’s up to him now to prove he belongs in the NFL, or he may end up being a historic bust.

And thus concludes my exercise titled: “If Rookie Kickers Were Covered Like Rookie Quarterbacks.”

4. This probably made Peyton Manning’s forehead spot glow purple with rage.

5. Many people have stories about some coach or teacher who didn’t believe in them. You were a kid and said you wanted to be an astronaut or trapeze artist or a star football quarterback, and they laughed at you and told you to set more realistic goals. Luckily, years later when we inevitably fail to reach our childhood goals, we usually don’t have to see the people who doubted us as kids.

Not Mark Sanchez. Pete Carroll told him he wasn’t ready for the NFL, and then four years later, Sanchez went out and proved Carroll correct right in his home stadium. Whatever Sanchez does, he should always remember Carroll’s home address so he doesn’t ever accidentally deliver a pizza there. It would just be too embarrassing.

How They Spent Their Bye Week

Redskins: Dealing with pain.

Browns: Taking on the denizens of the interwebs.

Packers: Interacting with fans.

Cardinals: Finding typos.