Ties Aren’t Made for Professional Sports - The Dynamo: Sports

Ties Aren’t Made for Professional Sports

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Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 11:00 am

We all remember (for the most part) when we used to play youth soccer or T-ball. Our parents would send us out on the field to just keep us active and social. No matter where we played, there was always one constant. There was no winner, no score. It always ended in a tie. That would make sense for young kids in little league. But what about professional leagues?

Just recently we witnessed the most agonizing defeat ever. The new, rebuilding Cleveland Browns and the Goliath, dominant Pittsburgh Steelers began the NFL season with a tie on the shores of Lake Erie. No one was happy whatsoever. This is a rivalry fueled with anger, tradition, and history on both sides, and it ended in a tie. This has caused quite a stir on both sides, particularly Cleveland’s. And there’s one simple solution. Just don’t end in a tie!

No one likes to end in a tie, and it’s been proven, because throughout both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, there are no ties in the regular season. They don’t even both messing around with the concept. In baseball, you play as many extra innings as needed, and the same goes with basketball, going to multiple overtimes as needed. In football, ties have been common forever. From 1920 to 1973, overtime did not exist, resulting in 258 tied games in that time span. The league finally implemented an overtime in 1974, reducing that number, but it still has not helped. Basically, a team gets 10 minutes to score, and if neither team does not score in those 10 minutes, the game ends in a tie. From 2012 until now, there have been six ties.

The solution is simple. Switch to college football overtime rules. The extra period in college begins at the 25-yard line, and each team is given the opportunity to score a touchdown or field goal. After the first team completes its drive with a score or turnover, the opposing team has the same opportunity from the 25-yard line. If the teams are still tied after the second team's possession, they must play another period. If the game goes into a third overtime, they can no longer kick extra points after touchdowns and must instead attempt a two-point conversion. Now why is this so hard for the NFL to comprehend? Possibly because if the game goes longer, that means more air time on national television, more money at the stadiums, and more revenue and attention overall.

However, I think we can all agree that an overtime period in the NFL that would start at the 25-yard would be way more exciting. As of recently, the 2018 Rose Bowl went into double overtime, and on a national stage in a win-or-go-home game, the atmosphere was incomparable to any other moment. Plus, an overtime that starts at the 25-yard line forces both teams to raise the competition level. There’s more pressure on both the offense and defense, and it makes for better football.

Trust me, I’ve witnessed ties in major games and it doesn’t make you feel good. For example, the 2014 OHSAA Division 1 State Championship Game between Saint Ignatius and Sylvania Northview ended in a tie after seven overtimes. No one was happy with the decision to end it. Thus, let’s all decide a clear cut winner. No more ties.

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