Owners will vote on doing away with preseason overtime


Of all the proposed rules changes the NFL owners will debate and vote on at next week’s league meeting, the one that seems the most obvious is the proposal to eliminate overtime in the preseason.

That proposal, brought forward by Washington, is simple: If it’s still tied at the end of the fourth quarter of a preseason game, then the game ends in a tie. No reason for overtime.

Look, everyone knows the preseason stinks. No one really cares who wins or loses, and by the fourth quarter it’s mostly a bunch of scrubs who aren’t even going to make the 53-man roster on the field. Getting rid of overtime in the preseason is one small step toward acknowledging that those exhibition games don’t matter anyway.

If the NFL were ever to change the overtime rules radically by, for instance, switching to the college format of alternating possessions from the 25-yard line, it might make sense to try it in the preseason first to give players, coaches and officials an opportunity to see how it works. But barring that, there’s no reason ever to see overtime in the preseason again.

41 responses to “Owners will vote on doing away with preseason overtime

  1. i actually enjoy watching the preseason to see guys trying the make the team. but i’d understand if they scrapped a couple games

  2. There’s already an inside rule that teams will do anything to avoid preseason OT anyway, so this is basically a moot point rule.

  3. The owners would drop two preseason games in a heartbeat for two real games, but the new player rep president has already said never to a 18 game schedule

  4. Lower the amount of pre-season games to two, but increase regular season prices of the 16 games to make up for the two missed pre-season games.

    End of the day, you’re still paying the same amount, minus two crappy games no one goes to or cares about.

  5. Perhaps I’ve got the wrong view of this, but I thought that pre-season games were used to evaluate players and see them in real game situations. I would have thought that coaches would welcome the chance for some players to get more snaps in a real game. If that isn’t the case, then why play them at all?

  6. They could get rid of two preseason games, but only if they add two more regular-season games — which the NFLPA probably won’t allow.

    Many teams are contracted as part of their stadium deals for ten home games a year. If they lose any preseason games, they’ll have to make them up some other way.

    Some teams are experimenting with ticket prices, keeping the season ticket price the same, while lowering the face value of preseason tickets and increasing the value of regular-season tickets. This will more accurately reflect the value of each game.

  7. Absolutely do away with pre-season OT. Who gives a rat’s hiney about who “wins” or “loses” a game that doesn’t count?

    The main purpose of those games is for talent development and evaluation — not to derive make-believe wins.

  8. I don’t see a problem with the scrubs playing in overtime. It would give them a little extra time to shine and make the team. It’s not like the starters are going to be out there anyway at the end of preseason game.

  9. Won’t happen. Watch. Doing so would be the final element for season ticket holders to sue on the basis that owners have now all but admitted that the preseason is nothing but an inequitable money grab.

  10. I understand why fans would want to do away with two preseason games and get the season started sooner. However, those two games could be what starts a guys carreer, we may never have had guys like Wes Welker, Josh Cribbs, Adam Vinitari or Arian Foster.

  11. I’ve got a better idea. Eliminate all preseason games and increase the price of regular season games to closer reflect the prices listed on Stub Hub.

  12. Those scrubs playing preseason games often end up on the final 53 man roster. I think it’s dumb to scrap the very games that show their potential. There are hundreds of players who have made teams based on preseason. Every game is recorded and broken down. Other teams try to sign players for their team who have been cut from others. They all try to sneak in their practice squad. The newbies see how fast the NFL is compared to college. They learn all the different rules.

    Then you have the vets who now enter the preseason camps and practices who don’t hardly touch each other during practice like flag football. You have vets on new teams with new players who need to get on the same page. I often wonder how they can become a solid team under the current shortened camps and 4 preseason games…

    The only thing I can find wrong with preseason is being forced to buy tickets.

  13. Nah, keep the preseason OT. Let each team decide on a game by game basis what is best for their particular situations. Those teams that need the extra time for player evaluation can use it to their advantage; teams that don’t need it can just play to avoid it.

  14. Since the preseason games are basically controlled scrimmages they should be free to the general public. The league would drop the number of “free” games immediately.

  15. 1995 NAIA Championship, Finley of Ohio vs. Jon Kitna and the Central Washington University Wildcats. With the game tied 21 – 21 and nearing the be of regulation, I was thinking YES! Overtime! Then everybody got up and started to leave. I remember thinking what are they doing? Then it set in, there would be no overtme the CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WOULD END IN A TIE! As it turned out both teams got to claim to be NAIA National Champions and Jon Kitna went on to have a pretty good NFL career with Seattle, Cinncinati, Detroit and Dallas.

  16. I see a lot of people wanting to do away with a couple of pre-season games. If they do that, then the owners will turn around and add even more to the season ticket games. Season ticket holders are the ones who don’t worry about the cost. They have the money. It’s the people who maybe buy tickets for one or two games that it will impact.

  17. Preseason games don’t count.
    But they do matter.
    Preseason games matter especially to teams in the process of rebuilding. They matter to fringe players trying to show their worth. And they matter to coaches trying to evaluate talent.
    Are preseason games “fun’ to watch among the “casuals”? Probably not. But preseason games are a necessary evil.
    Hockey fans spend 10 months watching meaningless games, but I don’t ever hear them whine.
    Overtime has never made sense in the preseason. Just as charging full price for preseason game tickets has never made sense.

  18. Think preseason games are boring? Then don’t watch! Ask the free agent players who are dying for a chance to prove themselves on the field if they mind extending the game a few more minutes. Leave it alone, everyone.

  19. This is ridiculous. It’s like they are determined to make these preseason games as frustrating to watch as possible. No one wants to see a regulation tie. People are paying hundreds of dollars to go to these games, devoting a lot of time watching on TV, and sometimes even paying a cable or satellite bill primarily so that they can watch football (Which in August usually means preseason NFL). The TV rights holders pay money for these games, including local rights holders who pay *only* for these games, and national TV holders who pick games and put them in prime time across America. The NFL needs to determine a winner. Even replacing OT with a field goal kicking contest would be better than just ending the game in a tie.

    The last straw for me and preseason baseball was watching a three hour 0-0 tie that ended after nine innings because the managers met and decided not to play a 10th inning. The 9th ended as if there would be a 10th and then the managers huddled with the umps and decided the game was over. I realized I’d watched three hours of mostly minor league players where guys jogged casually in the outfield during the game even when they weren’t in the game and the nobody cared who won or lost and hadn’t even seen anyone score a run. They didn’t even give me a winner and a loser so I could pretend at home that it mattered and react to it in some way. Haven’t watched a preseason baseball game since- which is probably a good thing because the next spring my favorite team had six ties in a month of preseason ball. My head might have exploded.

    But the thing is, preseason baseball games are played in minor league stadiums in Florida and Arizona, and then there are 162 real games that follow. In the NFL, these games are held in the real stadiums in the normal cities and season ticket holders are forced to pay full price for them if they want to remain season ticket holders. And because football has fewer games over all, fans are more inclined to watch the ones that don’t count on TV. They could at least continue to give us a winner and a loser so we can key in on the action and pretend like there’s drama late in the fourth quarter when the third string QB drives against a defense full of guys who are goin to get cut, you know? Cutting out overtime makes it harder to even pretend.

    I get that the main point of these games is to evaluate new or fringe players, get new plays installed, and shake the rust off for everyone from the veteran players to the coaches and the camera men. That’s fine. I don’t mind getting familarized with the backups so I know who the guys are when they come in for a few plays in a real game due to a package they fit in well with or to let the starter catch his breath, and for longer stints to replace injured and underperforming starters. But at least give us a winner and a loser so it seems competitive in some sense and not like we’re watching a practice.

    I get that it doesn’t really count, but I like to at least pretend it counts a little when I’m watching. That’s part of what makes it semi-watchable. Take that away and I don’t know.

    And I say this as someone who’s seen every preseason game by team has played since they started.

  20. They should not televise any preseason games on TV. That would irritate us fans and drive us to buy tickets to see the games. Then the owners would make more money because that’s what the NFL is all about.

  21. Why not let the 2 team captains decide whether to continue into OT? That way, if both teams want to quit, they can and if one or both decide they want to practice OT playcalling and defense, they can do that.

  22. Why not just organize fans to stop attending preseason games. The NFL can still have their games and evaluate players, but they can’t make people attend them. Four weeks of no-shows should drive down next year’s prices pretty dramatically.

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