Next week we’ll hear about all kinds of historical Super Bowl stuff because it’s the 50th anniversary of the NFL’s championship game.
Here’s one of the fun facts that interests me the most: the Super Bowl has been played 49 times and has never gone to overtime. That’s amazing to me. Think about all of the regular-season games and playoff games that go to overtime every year.
Just two weeks ago, the Packers and Cardinals went to overtime, and Larry Fitzgerald gave Arizona the win on a shovel pass that miraculously worked. Last year, the Packers and Seahawks went to overtime in the NFC Championship Game, and Russell Wilson and Jermaine Kearse hooked up to win that one.
The NFC Championship has gone to overtime four of the last nine years. And since the NFL added overtime in 1974, 526 regular-season games have gone an extra session.
But the biggest game has never gone OT. I think we can agree it’s bound to happen at some point. So why not this year on the 50th anniversary?
Now then, you could easily argue why not. Carolina is currently favored by six points and looks good enough to beat Denver in regulation time. I’d have to give you that.
But never rule out what a buddy of mine, Scott Sutton, has always said in reference to things that have never happened or haven’t happened in a long time. In those instances, it’s due to happen.
I’m so convinced it will happen this year that I’m making it my final “Smokin’ Lock of the Week” of the season. I’ve been terrible with my lock selections this year (5-14-1), but I enter Super Bowl week with a one-lock winning streak, having astutely taken Carolina minus-three in the NFC Championship Game over Arizona.
If I’m correct and the Super Bowl goes overtime, that would be the granddaddy lock of all-time, making up for all of my horrible picks this year. But if Carolina rolls to an easy win, I’ll just say “Oh well, Go Cougs” and try to do better next year – if I’m still employed.
In 2010, the NFL modified sudden-death overtime for the playoffs, giving the receiving team a chance to win if it scored a touchdown on its first drive. If that team scores a field goal, the other team has a chance to tie or can win with a touchdown of its own. Then in 2012, the NFL adopted that rule for regular-season games, too.
Here’s the thing. Most of us understand the new overtime rules, but casual fans are still confused. And some still feel that it’s unfair for a team not to be guaranteed at least one possession in overtime.
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt complained about that after the Green Bay-Arizona game when Aaron Rodgers tied it with a Hail Mary but never got a chance to throw another pass in OT.
I’ll bet I’m in the minority, but I like the college overtime rule better than the NFL’s. Give the ball to each team at the 25-yard line and let’s go. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews thinks the NFL should adopt the college rule, and I agree.
But as it is, picture how exciting and controversial it could be next Sunday with Peyton Manning going extra innings in his final game. Imagine the outcry if the future Hall of Famer doesn’t get a chance to respond in overtime if Cam Newton leads the Panthers on a game-clinching touchdown drive.
This is the year. It’s not only due, it’s looooong overdue for a Super Bowl to go overtime.