Bottom-Line Call

May 29th, 2017

Tampa Bay’s only Pro Football Hall of Fame voter, Ira Kaufman, the most beloved and esteemed columnist in town, has hung his hat at world headquarters since July 2016. His columns pop here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and his award winning podcasts fire Tuesdays and Thursdays.


On the same day the NFL threw Tampa a bone, owners offered us some kibble.

At last week’s spring meeting, the Bay area was awarded the 2021 Super Bowl, originally voted on for Los Angeles. Record rainfall in southern California has delayed construction on a new stadium for the Rams and Chargers, allowing Tampa Bay to swoop in.

But when it came time for Rich McKay’s Competition Committee to get into the act, a situation comedy broke out.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, citing safety issues, announced that owners agreed to shorten regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10.

Goodell said the overriding reason for the change was an effort to minimize the wear and tear on players.

Safety, safety, safety.

Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks.

“We think this is an important change, particularly for teams that may be into a lengthy overtime situation that may have to come back and play on a Thursday night, so this is another positive change,” said Goodell.

Roger that.

If safety issues are indeed paramount, the league would be seriously considering dropping Thursday Night Football — but we all know that’s not going to happen.

Too many network dollars are at stake for the NFL to acknowledge that playing two games within a five-day span represents a far bigger risk than squaring off for an additional 12 snaps.

So why did owners choose to shorten overtime?

The Real Health Concerns

My guess is TV networks applied pressure on their partners to end games more quickly because exceedingly long matchups were messing with their prime-time programming.

In other words, the real health concerns are the health of the network bottom lines. It’s not personal, Roger, it’s strictly business.

No Stick Carrier that I know enjoys tie games. And it stands to reason that we will be saddled with more deadlocks under these new guidelines.

“I would disagree with the rule change because more games are going to end in ties now,” Drew Brees said on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

Goodell said we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

“What we believe is we play to win,” said the real commish (sorry Justin). “I think fans would love to see a winner. Will it lead to more ties? We don’t know, but we don’t believe so. We think we have a very good format and this is an improvement to that.”

Since 2012, 83 regular-season games have gone into overtime, ending in ties only five times. It wouldn’t shock me if we get five ties this fall.

This would be a good time to set the record straight on the ill-conceived notion that last year’s Bucs-Raiders game would have ended in a tie instead of an Oakland win if the new overtime rule was in effect.

No Big Deal?

While it’s true that the score in Tampa was deadlocked when overtime crossed the 10-minute mark, the game would surely have been played differently.

For instance, the Raiders were at midfield facing 3rd-and-17 with 5:37 remaining in overtime. Derek Carr then hit Michael Crabtree for 10 yards and Oakland punted with 4:44 left.

If that overtime session had been reduced to 10 minutes instead of 15, the Raiders would have approached the third-down play quite differently, knowing they were not going to get another possession.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter isn’t losing any sleep about the new overtime rules.

“The NFL has invested a lot of time and money into player safety and their research shows that this is aimed at player safety,” he said. “I think the analytics show that this will only create one or two more ties per season. When you look at it like that, it maybe isn’t the biggest deal in the world.”

Buc fans can only hope Koetter feels the same way in January.

16 Responses to “Bottom-Line Call”

  1. JTHV Says:

    Not sure about most, but the last thing I want to watch on TV is the dribble the networks have in their “primetime’ lineups. Garbage TV is at it’s best.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Ira … “If safety issues are indeed paramount, the league would be seriously considering dropping Thursday Night Football.” Agree 100% Ira … it’s all about $$$ to the NFL & Goodell. Same could be said of the 4 preseason games (at least 1 and maybe 2 too many). Same could be said of playing games in other countries (still don’t get that one … most of their fans probably expect to see a soccer match with VERY big players). Personally believe that playing on Thursday night AFTER a Sunday game (especially an evening game) is far more detrimental to player safety than playing a 15-min overtime.

  3. bucNation Says:

    ties shouldn’t even happen in my opinion it just messes with the standings too much makes everything complicated

  4. DayOnePaul Says:

    Genuinely want to ELIMINATE ties and overtime periods?
    Mark the ball on the 40 yard line for extra points.

  5. gotbbucs Says:

    Goodell is Satan as far as the NFL is concerned.

  6. Gencoimports Says:

    Teams should only play on Thursday night if coming off a bye week but they will never do that.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The networks could easily schedule around the games. It is NOT a big deal.

    And afternoon games almost never end up in prime time. Not even the 4 pm games.

    Why would the networks complain anyway? It’s extra time to run ads for NFL viewers, and the networks pay a fortune to be able to do just that!

    I don’t care for this rule…especially since the chances of ending up in overtime will increase this year.

    And…I HATE TIES!!!!!!!

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    The King of the NFL has spoken. All (ass)ail the King

  9. unbelievable Says:

    Such a spot on take, Ira.

    It’s insulting to fans that Goodell and co. continue to lie to us and pretend any of these things are done for player safety. It’s about money and money only. The NFL does not care one bit about player safety.

    You want player safety? Eliminate the terrible Thursday night games.

    You want player safety? Expand the number of roster spots.

    You want player safety? Eliminate kick offs.

    You want player safety? Allow players to use natural substances for pain instead of hooking then on opiates and other poisons.

    Instead we get gimmicks and BS rule changes that make the game worse. The last 2 seasons we’ve seen the worst, most inconsistent officiating I can remember in my lifetime. And the NFL does absolutely nothing, bc this bs adds more drama to their product instead of actually improving the game.


  10. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    The thing about TNF is usually, it’s a garbage fest. TNF is rarely used to showcase the playoff teams and competitors. TNF is usually just used to allow the dumpster-fire teams to get a primetime game. We get subjected to watching the Browns and Chargers and the Jets and Bears. TNF is a waste of time. If they want to talk about player safety and quality of gameplay, then eliminate TNF.

  11. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Teams should do what the Patriots did to the Falcons, just stuff the ball down their throat for 6 and hit the showers. Only one roster cut now…from 90 to 53. 1,184 players will be waived at one time.

  12. Couch Fan Says:

    Ive always liked the college overtime format myself

  13. bucs_365 Says:

    I personally thought sudden death overtime should’ve never been changed. People talk about fairness… Your team had 60 minutes to win ferkreissake! How is it unfair if your defense gives up a drive? That’s how the game works – elements of chance, luck, and timing will always play a part. Go back to sudden death.

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    Safety on Thursday night football would be easy: teams play on Thursday only after their Bye. That give a lot of time to rest before and after the game.

    That means TNF couldn’t begin until Byes begin, but so what? The quality of the game would be much better than now when teams enter tired, banged-up and less prepared.

  15. Bob Higginbotham Says:

    Nailed it Ira! It’s about tv money, not player safety!

  16. wayne perez Says:

    Can someone explain why the teams that have to play thurs dont have thier bye week before the thurs game