NFL's new overtime rule still comes up way short

Fri, Jan 7
Winter Classic scoreboard at FenwayJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesHockey and baseball have enough sense to take tie games out of a coin flip's hands.

The NFL begins a new rule for ending overtime games this weekend, one needlessly filled with odd loopholes and possibilities, thereby combining two things Americans despise -- overtime tie-breaking gimmicks and the U.S. tax code.

By saying postseason overtimes cannot end on a first-possession field goal, the league is essentially suggesting that kicking a field goal is not a good enough way to win -- or at least it isn't right away, though it will simply have to do once both teams shove themselves around the middle of the field for a sufficient amount of time. It is also acknowledging that sudden death completely sucks as a system for breaking ties.

The age-old complaint about sudden death in the NFL is that it provides far too great an advantage to the team winning something so purely random and non-dramatic as a coin flip. I suppose one solution to this would be to get rid of the coin flip by replacing it with the much more strategically involved Rock, Paper, Scissors. Who wouldn't want to see Peyton Manning and Tom Brady doing the "1-2-3" count and then thrusting out their hands in a battle of wits?

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