Football is not a sudden death sport

I like when I get to talk about unfair rules or bad refereeing when the team I like comes out on top. I don’t have to worry about losing credibility because I’m a sore loser or whathaveyou; it was a relief to me when the Patriots won their overtime game against the Jets.

Here’s my problem with the NFL rules for OT: The team that wins the coin toss has a huge advantage. It used to be that the game would end with whoever scored first, thus meaning the team to get the ball first would almost always win on a cheap field goal. The owners finally voted to change that two years ago, but they half assed the job. They made it so the game would continue if the first team scored a field goal, but it would end in sudden death if that team scored a touchdown (or, it would end if the other team scored a touchdown). That’s still plainly unfair. As it so happens, the Patriots scored a field goal, thus giving the Jets a chance to respond. QB Sanchez then, as I expected, failed to get the job done. The game turned out to be fair, but only by chance. Had the Patriots scored a TD on their first possession, the game would have ended and the Jets never would have been given a chance. Again, that’s not fair.

There are certain games that lend themselves to sudden death overtime. Hockey, for instance, is perfect for it. (In fact, hockey is the perfect sport, but I digress.) Soccer, insofar as it is a sport, works for the model. Football, however, does not. There is no point where both the defense and offense of a single team find themselves on the field at the same time. It would be as if a baseball game went into extra innings, the away team scored a run in the top of the 10th, and then the umpires called the game. That would be ludicrous for the very reason the NFL overtime rules are ludicrous: There are two primary aspects to the teams involved. To think of it another way, imagine how many teams have won the Superbowl with okay defense and great offense. Now ask yourself, if that team was forced to rely upon just its defense, who would have won the game?

I don’t expect the NFL to fix this flaw because, well, look at the garbage they pulled with the refs. And look at the guy they have running the whole show. It isn’t like this is an organization that’s hellbent on making things right or hiring the best personnel to fix these obvious problems. But who knows. Maybe in 15 years we’ll see some updates that actually take reality into consideration.

Catch up

My blogging has slowed a little bit, so I haven’t been keeping up on a few stories. I’m going to quickly mention a few topics here.

First, California has recently passed a law which bans gay conversion therapy. This is a good thing not only for gay people and the way the public perceives them, but it’ also a good thing for science. As the governor correctly stated, such therapies are nothing but quackery.

Second, it has been awhile since Mitt Romney made his comment about 47% of Americans not paying taxes and feeling entitled to government handouts. I’m usually pretty cautious about jumping all over politicians for the missteps they make. For instance, when Romney said he doesn’t care about the very poor, it isn’t difficult for me to recognize that he meant his focus is on preventing people in the middle class from needing to utilize government safety nets. In turn, he hopes that that (as well as corporate welfare and the like) will help out the very poor. This, however, is different. There is no spinning what he meant in the secret video of him: He believes nearly half of all Americans are lazy moochers who don’t want to take personal responsibility.

Third, I made a post a little while ago where I said I was calling this NFL season as invalid. The replacement referees were horrible – an opinion I held before the Seattle/Green Bay game. There was just no way that the outcome of any game could be considered legitimate. I stand by all that. Even though the real refs are back in place, we still had 3 weeks where teams were getting screwed because Roger Goodell is the worst person in all of sports. Three weeks may not sound like a lot, but it would be as if Major League Baseball replaced its umpires with unqualified people for about 30 games. It’s a huge chunk of the season. For that, there is nothing valid about the entire 2012 NFL season – even if my beloved Patriots win the Super Bowl.

I’m calling it

This NFL season does not count. The officiating is so universally horrendous that there just is no way that anyone can consider any game to be legitimate at this point.

Skip Bayless deserved this

Skip Bayless is one of the most clueless sportscasters on ESPN. He seeks to be an iconoclast, to diminish the great athletes for no other reason than that he wants to stir up controversy. Fortunately, after a mini-Twitter battle, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took Bayless to task:

This video, of course, isn’t solely about Bayless. Cuban also laments the vacuity with which so many analysts approach sports. I have to agree with him on that, but what I really like is the jabs at Bayless. There have been others, too:

I can’t wait until he gets fired.

‘Tek and Wake


I’ve grown tired of the Giants beating teams better than they are.

On Joe Paterno

While college football is not an interest of mine anymore than the WNBA is an interest of anyone (you mean I get to watch people who aren’t the best of the best? Oh boy!), I am a sports fan and I want to throw my two cents in on Joe Paterno. It’s basically this. The man was a fantastic coach who meant a lot to his students and school. He made the mistake of not following through on a serious matter, but he did far more good than bad in his life. He should be praised and I’m happy he already has a statue on the Penn State campus.

And all that said, anyone who is not a sports fan who comments on these matters ought to be kicked in the face.