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Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Mailbag: Dear Mosley

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Each day, I spend hours poring over questions and comments from NFC Beast blog readers just like yourself. The ESPN.com Blog Network and its subsidiaries appreciate your dedication. Now, let's begin another session of the NFC Beast Mailbag with NFC Beast blogger Matt Mosley:

Mark from Kansas City, welcome to the NFC Beast Situation Room. What's on your mind, pal? Matt, appreciate your columns and blogs, but in this case (Eagles tie), I think you and the rest of the media need to make a serious point to the NFL: A game should never end in a tie. It's unfair to all involved, fans, players, coaches, etc. Not saying they adopt the college system per se, but come up with something so that someone walks away the winner. It's just hard for me to believe that really not much is being mentioned about it at all. Maybe it's only me and all the fans of both of the teams.

Matt Mosley: Mark, the funniest thing in the whole Donovan McNabb overtime storyline is that he wanted to know what would happen in a playoff game or Super Bowl. Oops, there's another rule Andy Reid needs to discuss with No. 5. But I think it's definitely something the rules committee should talk about after the season. The college overtime rule is flawed in its own right, but at least it produces an outcome. I'm not sure why the league doesn't simply begin another 15-minute sudden-death overtime. I realize the TV networks don't like the thought of a 1 p.m. ET game lasting until 5, but it's not like we have a tie every season. In fact, it had been six years since the last tie. And are we really worried about a game going five or six overtimes -- like hockey? Even the NHL came up with a way (shootouts) to bring a sense of closure after overtimes in the regular-season. The league should put aside its fears and simply play another overtime period. It's bad enough to have to watch the Eagles and Bengals play to a 13-13 tie through five quarters. The least the league can do is provide a better ending.


Kathleen in New York writes: I don't understand the issue with Donovan McNabb not knowing the rule about ties. Tiger doesn't know all the rules in his sport. Which is why he often asks the rules officials for clarification. Venus Williams lost track of the score in one of her matches. No one is calling them nitwits -- because they aren't. So, Donovan doesn't know every rule. He wanted to play to win the game. How is that a bad thing?

Mosley: Kathleen, I wish you could see my copy of the USGA Rules of Golf. It's something I live by -- as any of my usual playing partners (Werder, Archer, Cowlishaw, Torn, Logsdon) would attest. The rules of golf outnumber the rules of football, 30 to 1 -- or maybe more. And some of them are so archaic that you need a rules official to interpret them for you. In football, there are some basic rules that we sort of expect everyone to grasp. The rule that regular-season games end after a single overtime period has been around for years. Sure, it's a little easier to realize the goal posts have been moved back 10 yards when you stop running into them, but the overtime rule is fairly accessible to someone who's played in the league for a decade. And forgetting the score in tennis doesn't really have much to do with knowing the rules. Venus may just be a little forgetful at times.


Rich in Philly wants to know: Matt, can you please make your blog printable? Good for take along reading!!

Mosley: Rich, I'm not sure why you're having trouble with this. We use my blogs as placemats for every meal. But I will mention this to the NFC Beast IT department. Expect to hear something back in the early part of 2009.


Richard in Dallas has something on his mind: Matt, my boss and I were talking this morning, and he brought up a good point. When is Adam "Pacman" Jones supposed to be coming back. The last thing I heard was that his suspension was indefinite, and since his security detail got the boot, I figure he did also. Should we expect to hear anything else on this subject?

Mosley: Richard, first of all it's considered poor form to kiss up to your boss on this blog. Regarding Pacman's situation, he was suspended indefinitely, but he can now apply for reinstatement via NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already said he'd welcome Pacman back into the fold, but it's not his decision.

We're told that Pacman has spent time commuting from Boston to Dallas during rehab, which is unlike any of the rehabs I've come across. We've heard from several sources that Goodell was very angry that he was having to discipline Pacman again. Goodell hates it when a player's conduct overshadows what's taking place on the field. That's why you shouldn't hold your breath about his return. The commissioner could reinstate him right now if he wanted to, but that would really surprise me. But who knows. If experts in the field of alcohol abuse convince Goodell that Pacman's recovery hinges on him being in an NFL locker room, maybe that would be enough to sway things.

Folks, you've been wonderful.