Our Opinion: Keep the rules as is

Published 10:22 am Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ever since the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings ended in a 26-26 tie on Nov. 24, there have been sports pundits calling for the NFL to get rid of ties.

We disagree.

Following the game, sports journalists asked the silly question of the two coaches: “Does this feel like a win or a loss?” Both coaches squirmed out of saying one way or the other.

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Allow us to give the proper answer: An NFL game can have three outcomes, win, lose or tie. The game felt like a tie, not a win, not a loss. Stop attempting to make it seem like anything else.

Are there any old-time sports writers anymore? Tie games have been part of football going back to its origins, an aspect of sports still a factor in the global game of soccer. We would imagine some sports writers out there in the national media would appreciate the outcome of a tie for what it is: a lesson in futility. Sports don’t just teach how to win and lose. Ties are among the many other aspects of sports so many professional participants neglect: sportsmanship, humility, teamwork, concentration and so forth.

The present rules for overtime in the NFL have it right. Unless a touchdown is scored, each team gets an opportunity to field the ball. That’s fair. And it’s sudden-death after that, so most OT games don’t go the full 15-minute period.

If the two teams cannot figure out a way to resolve the contest after 75 minutes of play, goodness gracious, they deserve to tie. They deserve to live with neither chalking up a victory that week. They deserve their lesson in futility.

Some say the NFL ought to get rid of ties by letting the teams keep playing additional minutes, like what presently happens during the playoffs. We urge the NFL rules committee to give the fans in the stands, the listeners to the radio and the viewers of TV a break. End the regular-season games after five quarters. Keep the ties.