Schectman Offseason: The Death of Sudden Death

Schectman Offseason: The Death of Sudden Death

Never a dull moment in the NFL. Except when the Jets play. This week the excitement is about a new tweak to the overtime rules that means both teams will get the ball at least once. But just in the playoffs, let’s not get crazy. The owners love change almost as much as you love Daylight Savings Time.

At last people will stop whining about how unfair overtime is. Except they won’t. Because no one’s ever happy about anything. That’s why Dave Chappelle started putting crack on toast.

Me, I like sudden death. In football, I mean. It’s arguably less fun in real life. But I’m all for getting more creative to make the coin toss less influential. How about letting the winner of the toss decide which team gets the ball first at their own one yard line? With sudden death rules, any score by either team ends the game, even a safety. And for the offense, it makes even a field goal much more daunting.

Or, just keep creeping towards the college rule, where the teams go endlessly back and forth until you just wish everybody was dead.

Let’s break down what all this means some more. Because, frankly, what the hell else are we gonna do?


The simplest way to avoid potentially agonizing OT rules continues to be finding a way to win in regulation. You could go for a 2-point conversion if your offense is so good. Don’t play for the tie like every soccer game ever. Ties are humiliating. Unless it’s a dog tie.

Coincidentally, this was my approach to hybrid work. I work from home two days a week and send my dog to the office the other three. So far, so good!


The latest rule tweak is really just to ease Josh Allen’s suffering. After he basically turned into a cartoon superhero to deliver a knockout blow to the Chiefs with 13 seconds left in the game, he never saw the ball again.

Since then he only looks like this:

He’s only had one actual conversation all winter, and that was with a grapefruit he named Wilson.


Again, this new rule will only apply to playoff games this year. So it’s entirely possible Josh Allen loses the exact same way when he returns to Kansas City (which he will) in the regular season. Which, now, we kinda have to root for just to see it happen.

What do you want from the NFL? It took them 3 years to come up with a new name for Washington, and when they finally did it was the Commanders. Or Commander Crap Pants as you like to pronounce it. Which, admittedly, is better.


Just wait. Wait until the first time a team wins the coin toss and marches down the field for a touchdown, and then adds a 2-point conversion to go up 8. And then somehow loses the game. I can’t wait for the outcry.

If the other team matches the 8, then recovers a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the first QB would never even see the ball again. It’s guaranteed to happen to Josh Allen.

At that point do we just start playing out OT for a full quarter? Then what? Where does it end? With a Spelling Bee?

It’s a slippery slope. Like accepting cookies from every website that asks.


Look, I get why they change the rules (even though teams that win the OT coin toss already only win about 50% of the time). They just stink at it. Sudden death is a thrilling element to NFL games, and it’s a shame to watch it slowly watered down like every free drink ever in Vegas.

You’re never going to make everyone happy with the rules. That’s why everyone changes the rules to every game they play. My family added bank robbery to Monopoly. Which is basically just me stealing from the bank, but still.

Is this really the best solution they could come up with? The new rule is like Miller Lite. Everything you ever wanted in an overtime. And less.

I still like sudden death.

Don’t like your chances in OT? Don’t let it come to that.

As always, thanks for playing!

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