Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DId the NFL Brass Work Overtime Thinking Up This Idea?

It's been a busy week already, so I haven't had a lot of time to follow the news, but this sports story caught my eye: The NFL will be change the rules for overtime during playoff games:
Starting next season, if a team wins the coin toss and then kicks a field goal, the other team gets the ball. If that next series ends with another field goal, play will continue under the current sudden-death rules.

If the team winning the toss immediately scores a touchdown, however, the game is over.

Team owners voted 28-4 on Tuesday in favor of the proposal at the NFL meetings. Minnesota, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Baltimore opposed the change.
It appears that they're operating on the idea that the coin toss has become too big of a factor in who wins the overtime game, and the new rule change is supposed to provide a more level playing field (pun slightly intended) for the team that loses the toss. It's also expected that, if this change works out well in the playoffs, it will be implemented during the regular season in the future.

I'm inclined to give this rule a chance before deciding whether or not I like it, though my first thought was, "That's wimpy!" (In the linked story, Brandon Stokley--a receiver for the Denver Broncos--seems to agree when he says, "If you're on defense first and you don't have the ball, you've just got to stop them.'') But I certainly like the sudden-death variety of overtime better than the convoluted "start on your opponent's 20-yard-line" process that they use in college, even if my alma mater's seven-overtime thriller in '06 was quite entertaining). I'm sure the first team that wins the toss, kicks a field goal and then loses by a touchdown on the next possession will complain, but we'll just have to see how this works.

What are your thoughts? Good idea, bad idea, or indifferent? Let me know in the comments.

Today's pathway leads to Holland: Today was the release of the long-awaited debut from the Dave Holland Octet, Pathways. It's the traditional quintet of Holland (bass), Chris Potter (tenor/soprano), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Steve Nelson (vibes/marimba) and Nate Smith (drums), with three more horns: Gary Smulyan (bari), Antonio Hart (alto) and Alex Sipiagin (trumpet). All three of the latter are in Holland's big band, and this group appears to be a nice bridge between the smaller and larger ensembles. Thanks to Dave's label Dare2 Records affiliating with eMusic, I was able to download the album over breakfast this morning, and I'll try to have a review of it posted in the weeks to come.

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