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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Why the owners tabled overtime

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

IRVING, Texas -- Almost in passing, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday afternoon that owners would table the vote to expand the new postseason overtime rule to the regular season. The new rule requires a team to score a touchdown on its first possession of overtime in order for the game to immediately end.

If the owners had held this vote two months ago at meetings in Orlando, I think it would have passed for the regular season. But there was absolutely no momentum during this one-day meeting in North Texas to expand the overtime rule. So what happened?

Well, you might recall that a few coaches (Sean Payton) raised a stink in Orlando that the owners approved the new rule while the coaches were on the golf course. And in the time between owners meetings, the players have had a chance to weigh in on the issue. On Tuesday, Goodell indicated that players and other "partners" had engaged the league in discussions about the overtime rule.

I think the league's television partners aren't exactly thrilled with the idea of games being extended by up to 30 minutes. It's not like there are overtime games every weekend in the league, but there are enough for the networks to be concerned with how this new rule will impact them.

Now the league's left with a system in which the regular season's rules won't jive with what happens in the postseason. It's certainly not an ideal situation. I actually like the new postseason rule more than the previous one. But I'd like it a lot more if it applied to the entire 2010 season.

You guys worried about this rule at all? I just watched Roger Goodell walk through the lobby of the Omni Mandalay, and he seems fine with everything.