How to fix OT in American sports
A Guest Blog By Geoff Dwyer:
The women’s world cup just ended with Japan beating the US in the most entertaining way to finish a sporting event, penalty kicks. This got me thinking, how can we fix the big 4 American sports overtimes?
Of all the 4 major US sports at least the NHL gets it right…… in the regular season. Who wants to see games end in epic sudden death fashion, like the 2000 playoff game between the Penguins and Flyers that ended in the 5th OT. Americans have short attention spans and nobody wants to sit through multiple overtimes of 5 on 5, end to end, hard hitting, entertaining hockey when you could just cut it short and do a shootout. The NHL needs to fix things and add the fan favorite, exciting shootout to the playoffs as well.
This one is easy as we just enjoyed the mid-summer classic. Instead of going to extra innings each team should trot out their pitching coach to sling 45 mph heaters to their best 5 players in a game deciding home run derby.
Let’s face it, 48 minutes is enough. If a game is still tied after regulation each player that was on the court at the end of the game is entered into a free throw shooting contest. Each player gets 5 free throws and the team that makes the most of their 25 shots wins. This would make players like JJ Reddick actually worth the millions he is being paid.
Now onto the most popular sport in the US with the most controversial OT. There have been many solutions offered by sport pundits on how to solve the NFL overtime rules. Some say go with college rules OT, others say just play another regular quarter without sudden death. I say once a game ends tied after 60 minutes go to a kicking competition. Each team’s kicker starts kicking FG’s from 30 yards out, with distance increasing 5 yards until one team misses. This would also help prevent more injuries, unless the winning kicker pulls a Martin Gramatica.
Admittedly, this is a bit of sour grapes after the US lost today, in what might have been the most exciting women’s world cup final of all time (until pk’s). I don’t know why any sport, at the highest level, would allow the championship game to be decided by a mini-game.