Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 18, 2008
FOOTBALL: There's No Tying In Football

Yes, it's definitely Andy Reid's responsibility to make sure his players know that it's possible to have a tie in an NFL game. I mean, that doesn't let Donovan McNabb off the hook for the fact that he still doesn't know the rule:

"I guess we're aware of it now," McNabb said. "In college, there are multiple overtimes, and in high school and Pop Warner. I never knew in the professional ranks it would end that way. I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs."

Uh, they keep playing if it's tied in the playoffs or Super Bowl. But McNabb apparently didn't know that, either.

But Reid's been McNabb's coach since 1999. And he never covered this? Wow.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:15 AM | Football | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

I think too much is being made of this. Yes they should have known the rule, but this is the first instance of a tie in 6 years. It's rare enough; besides, you still try to play to win. So chalk it down to not worrying about a small thing. Football has gotten so insanely complex, that a coach really has to focus on the task at hand. Besides, it makes better copy than the fact that it was a terribly played game.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at November 18, 2008 10:16 AM

I agree with Daryl: I'm not a McNabb fan by any means, but it's hard to get worked up over this. More shocking is when a special teams player doesn't know the rules about a live ball and winds up costing his team points or even the game.

Posted by: Phineas at November 18, 2008 10:38 AM

It's unusual in that McNabb is neither a young player nor an unintelligent one, and it's not among the NFL's many more esoteric rules. It's hard to fathom how he could not know that. Ironically, he seems to know the overtime rule for college, even though I don't think it existed when he was at Syracuse.

Posted by: Jerry at November 18, 2008 10:49 AM

...So chalk it down to not worrying about a small thing.

Where's the intellectual curiosity of the well-paid employee? Average Joe reading the standings in the paper sees W-L-T and understands that there are instances when a game can be a tie. That seems more like a big picture item than a detail to me, especially for the QB. Not bashing McNabb, just sayin.

Posted by: Phils57 at November 18, 2008 11:07 AM

And Crank, my apologies for not writing this earlier: you get my vote for best title of an entry.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at November 18, 2008 11:57 AM

Regardless of whether Reid of McNabb knew at the time, isn't there SOMEONE inside of the Eagles organization who can get the word out sometime during the OT? It's easiest to scapegoat one or two guys, but the Eagles' problems are more complex than that.

On the plus side, if they don't make the playoffs, it won't be on a ridiculous NFL tie-breaker rule.

Posted by: Cannon at November 18, 2008 5:50 PM

OT in college has been around for regular season games since '96, which were McNabb's sophmore, junior and senior seasons at Syracuse.
I hate to give Bill Simmons too much credit, but he's right when he says that NFL teams need to hire a "Director of Common Sense" to stand near the head coaches during games. Andy Reid desperately needs one

Posted by: Marcus Garvey at November 18, 2008 5:57 PM

BS guys, there is no excuse for an adult male not to know that rule. I'm certain McNabb knows that a legal catch takes two feet in bounds in the pros and one foot in college. My 12 year old son knew the rules on overtime. My wife did not know the rules. That's kind of the difference, McNabb isn't a 12 year old kid or a middle aged woman. He has been pro football player for ten years. This isn't about knowing an arcane rule regarding instant replay this is a rule about how the game ends.

What this says to me is outside of playing his own games, he isn't a fan of the game itself. Every time a game goes into overtime and there isn't a score right away the announcers start speculating about a tie. If he watched half as many games as the casual fan he'd know his sport better.

Posted by: largebill at November 18, 2008 9:51 PM

largebill, there is a very good chance that most professional players of a specific sport are NOT fans. More than likely, Cunningham and many other players are kept up to date on any CHANGES from year to year, and probably know the arcane stuff more than we ever will.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at November 19, 2008 9:15 PM

They should just get rid of the tie in the regular season as well. Just play another sudden death period. Given the scarcity of ties as it is, the odds are even slimmer that someone won't score a field goal in the second extra period.

Posted by: MVH at November 20, 2008 7:45 AM

They tell you at the coin toss in OT that the game can end in a tie. Don't know but I assume McNabb is a team captain and was out there for the coin flip. Also, the last time a team played to a tie was 6 years ago and the Philadelphia Eagles, in the first round of the playoffs, played a 9-6-1 Falcons team. Did they not know what the 1 was? He's been in the league 10 years. This is not like the Tuck Rule. He should have known. More amazing is that he admitted he didn't know. Gotta give him some credit for that at least.

Posted by: jim at November 20, 2008 12:56 PM
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