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Home » News and Features » After Further Review » NFL Ties Still Baffle Players

NFL Ties Still Baffle Players

By: Kim O'Hara | Posted: November 12, 2012

Somewhere, somehow, Donovan McNabb is smiling. After a hard-fought tie yesterday in San Francisco, 49er safety Dashon Goldson wasn't certain the game had ended. "I've never heard of a tie in football," he said. "Where's everybody going? Did somebody quit? Forfeit?"

In perhaps a fitting end to a frustrating game for both teams on the field, in which both put themselves in position to seal the outcome but were unable to capitalize, the NFC West division rivals were forced to settle with a 24-24 tie at the conclusion of extra time. Missed field goals by Niners veteran David Akers and rookie Greg Zuerlein may be the easiest culprits to acknowledge but the game featured many missed opportunities.  

San Francisco must be feeling particularly frustrated, as starting quarterback Alex Smith was forced to leave the game after suffering a concussion. Backup Colin Kaepernick performed admirably in his time on the field, but divisional games are never easy, and particularly difficult when not fielding an optimal lineup. In this instance, the Rams gained no real ground in the NFC West race, and San Francisco remains a game ahead of Seattle, which it approaching its bye in Week 11.

It's hard to fathom how a tie score might affect a professional athlete. They're trained to win games. Losses are difficult, but at the end of the day, both teams can't win. While players may hate losing, it's a definitive outcome. It's something they'll always have to face in their career path. But a tie? Like losing, it's certainly not something a player would allow himself to consider, but it must leave a feeling of up-in-the-airness. Perhaps San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis summed it up best, explaining that "it feels like we didn't even play, mentally not physically". But here's hoping they clear out any tie-related cob webs before next Monday; the Chicago Bears are coming to town. 


Kim O'Hara is the Associate Editor of She is an avid fan of sports in general, but the NFL in particular. She has also been a contributor to ESPN the Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @KimOHaraTFG   

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