The New Overtime Rule

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The world is becoming a more equitable place.  The Bush tax cuts are about to expire, the uninsured are finally going to receive health coverage, and now, the team that loses the coin toss in an NFL playoff overtime game doesn’t have to worry about the other team throwing a couple completions and kicking a 50-yard field goal to win the game without having its own chance to respond.

Sean Payton, coach of last year’s Super Bowl-winning New Orleans–who (not coincidentally) beat Minnesota in the NFC Championship last year by doing just that– declared yesterday that the new overtime rules are so complicated that they would take 30 minutes to explain to his wife.  So, taking up the challenge, The Wise Guy put his crack research staff on the case (Google) and has set out to decipher the Di Goodeli code of the new overtime rules.  As it turns out, Sean Payton’s wife, Beth, must be some unholy offspring of Forrest Gump and Denise Richards because, guess what, they’re not that complicated.

Here’s a nice rule of thumb that should help us dim-witted fans: first team to score a touchdown wins.  That is, if you get the ball first and score a touchdown, you win.  If you only score a field goal, the second team has a chance to do the same to tie, or score a touchdown to win.   If there is a tie, the game reverts to the old sudden death rules.   Obviously, if the first team doesn’t score and the second team scores at all, the game is over too.

Any questions Mrs. Payton?

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Melissa Jacobs

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