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Monday, January 25, 2010
How to improve OT coin-toss rules

By Mike Sando

The first comment left on the most recent 49ers item had nothing to do with the 49ers.

It had to do with rules governing overtime.

The Saints' victory over the Vikings in the NFC title game Sunday marked the latest overtime game in which one team -- Minnesota, in this case -- never held possession after regulation.

I've generally preferred the current overtime setup to the college version ensuring an equal number of possessions. The NFL version isn't always fair, but it's dramatic. "Sudden death" is a fitting title.

If I have a problem with the current rules, it's the arbitrariness of a coin toss deciding which team gets the ball first. Winning the coin toss does not ensure the outcome, of course. It's still pretty arbitrary, though, and it's sometimes unsatisfying when a team wins the coin toss and scores right away.

I'd like to throw out a couple of alternatives:


Thoughts? Please do poke holes in either of these if my logic is flawed. And if you have other alternatives, please share them.