For the first time in the history of the NFL, both conference championship games went to overtime. While civil, reasonable people would see this as a distinct outlier — as nothing more than a playoff weekend with a little extra excitement — others have responded as if Roger Goodell decided to cancel football. Since the NFL is surely going to do nothing to quench the mass concern, I thought it would be a good idea to investigate alternative overtime options.
Now before we get into it, I’m not going to listen to your super unique and creative solution of simply adopting college overtime rules. While this would be a satisfactory way to solve the problem, the NFL is not going to simply “copy” from an inferior league that doesn’t even pay its athletes. Yesterday I threw the following out on Twitter, in hopes that the BGN faithful of the Twitterverse® would give me some fun ideas:
Anyone with a fun way that teams should settle OT in the NFL, @ me. I've got several ideas already. Top 5 will be included in a post on @BleedingGreen— Lee Sifford (@LeeSifford) January 21, 2019
I got some creative responses, and terrible ideas. Here are the ones I liked best, in no particular order:
leg wrestling— McVay Knower (@Southern_Philly) January 21, 2019
For those of you who aren’t aware of the phenomenon that is Indian Leg Wrestling, courtesy of some website I've never heard of called “SportsAspire”, it can be described as:
Indian leg wrestling is an ancient sport that lightens the atmosphere at any occasion, be it an family get-together, or a college event. There are no special requirements or equipment needed to play this game either. Let us learn everything there is to know about this
Here is a live video of two people Indian Leg Wrestling. (Please note, I cannot confirm that one of these people is not Dave Mangels.)
Now, depending on who was involved in the actual showdown, I have differing opinions. If it was Jared Goff and Tom Brady rubbing thighs, I don’t think I’d be interested in watching that sweat fest. If we’re talking Sean McVay and Bill Belichick, however, sign me the eff up. Also, if we could get Michael Kist and Ben Solak to have an Indian-Leg-Wrestling-Off live on youtube, who would watch?
Penalty kick-style FGs. So, each team trades FG attempts, but each kick has to be done by a different player— Frank Yi (@FrankTYi83) January 21, 2019
Shout out to Frank for predicting one of my original ideas. This would be such a blast. Imagine a penalty kick (soccer) or a shoot out (hockey) but done by non-kicker-NFL players? I’m thinking do 3 players to start, kicking from the extra point position, with no defense or offense on the field. Simply a man and a ball. The Patriots start things off, with Julian Edelman. The former performance-enhancing-druggie blasts the ball through the uprights. Up next is Jared Goff. A California pretty boy? Of course he knows how to kick a got-damn ball. He wiffs and barely clears the line of scrimmage. Would Tom “I can do anything” Brady take a shot? Would Sean McVay dress up in Todd Gurley’s uniform and take a swing himself? Who knows. What I do know, however, is this sounds fun.
You know how the song goes... “Anything Chad
Johnson Ocho-Cinco can do, I can do better”
The staring QBS have to out drink @MichaelKistNFL in 15 minutes— Anthony Raia (@anthony_raia) January 21, 2019
While this one sounds fun, it simply would result in a tie for all overtime games, since NO ONE can out drink Michael Kist in 15 minutes. If you think you can out drink Michael Kist in 15 minutes, please post a video of how much damage you can do in 15 minutes and tweet it directly at @BleedingGreen. We will decide if you’re even worthy of his time (which is hopefully going to be spent training for the Indian Leg Wrestling showdown). [Disclaimer: If you decide rapidly drink anything intoxicating for 15 minutes and send it to us, we are not responsible for your fate, but we will use the footage as we please since you willingly gave it to the internet.]
Sumo Wrestling Style. Each team sends 5 players to the middle of the field. Whoever gets to 3 takedowns first wins.— Chris from VA (@CLeeOaktonVa) January 21, 2019
Heres a fun one. Do you send your entire offensive line? Do you send a small quick player, like Darren Sproles, to run in circles until the enemy tires? Does anyone actually watch Sumo Wrestling? These are all questions I have, Chris. What I do know, is this would make one hell of an overtime.
Place the ball at the 50 and each team lines up 11 players on their own 10 yard line. Each team makes a dash for the live ball. Can either try to fall on it for possession or pickup to score. Gives players a chance to display their 40’s in the process.— Andrew Shaver (@ashaver13) January 21, 2019
This reminds me of a game I played as a child. Almost like a team version of smear the... uhhh I better watch out or we’ll get banned from Patreon. So basically an all out brawl to pick up the ball and get it to the end zone. I’m sure this would result in a ton of injuries, a lot of dog piles, and a ton of frustrated fans. So basically, this option would leave us where we are currently.
I could also live with current rules but replace the coin toss with a tug of war. At least it’s not random chance.— Andy (@Andrewew56) January 21, 2019
Simple but effective. Lets keep the rules the same, but take the chance out of it. Imagine Tug of War with 2 NFL offensive lines?
Every minute of OT a player is removed from the field for each team leaving until they get down to 3 and side for the final few mins of OT.— Simon Chester (@SimonAChester) January 22, 2019
A late addition from our friend Simon Chester (who keeps SB Nation up to date with the Pittsburgh Steelers over on Behind the Steel Curtain) is a good one. Thing start as usual. A coin toss. A bunch of angry fans who somehow think their team got gypped. 11 players on both sides. And as the clock runs down, both sides go from looking like an NFL team to a backyard football squad. Do you remove your skill players in lieu of offensive lineman? Do you rush the passer or drop your entire defense into the secondary? I like this one, Simon; I like it a lot.
While these answers have been fun, I have a few more ideas to throw into the hat.
Current overtime rules, but with the offense and defense switched
Exactly as it sounds, lets keep the rules the same, but switch the starting 11. I want to see Tom Brady play defense. I want to see Nickell Robey-Coleman lay down that truck stick in a legal situation. While the “fairness” would be no different than it currently is, the entertainment value would certainly go through the roof.
Rochambeau between the opposing punters
Go ahead. Look me in the eyes. Tell me with a straight face that you don’t want to watch two grown-ass-men, who are professionals at swinging their leg in an upward motion, kick each other straight in the giblets.
For those of you not familiar with the incredibly sadistic cousin of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, here is how urban dictionary defines it:
A game created by the TV show South Park where two people would kick each other in the crotch until one of them would fall over or give-up, used to determine the winner of an argument.
In this scenario, in addition to a winning team and a losing team, there would be 2 distinct losers. Also, we’d all win. It’d be great.
“Home Run Derby” style Field Goal-off
I picture laying out 20 or so balls, in a 3-pt line arch around the field goal post. The kicker then has 2 minutes to get as many of those balls through the uprights as possible. Let the away kicker go first and the home kicker second. All balls would be set up already.
Have we settled anything? Nope. Have we created some realistic scenarios for the NFL to evaluate this offseason? Sure haven’t. Have we had fun? I hope so. The NFL overtime is fine, people. Sunday was a once-in-a-lifetime Conference Championship Sunday when both games went to overtime. Instead of bitching about it, why don’t we take a moment to acknowledge how close and exciting both games were?
How should the NFL decide the winner of tie games moving foward?
This poll is closed
Indian Leg Wrestling
Penalty Kick-style Field Goals
A QB vs Michael Kist Drinking Competition
Smear the [insert PC word for ‘queer’ here]
Regular OT with Vanishing Players
Swapping the Offense & Defense
Field Goal Derby
Other (Answer in Comments Below)