In a ruling that will change the way NFL games are played, the league has approved a new, modified sudden death proposal. The proposal, which will take effect for 2010 season, stipulates that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre should get the ball at least once in overtime.
The ruling eliminates the nightmare scenario of an overtime game ending without the beloved QB having a chance to score.
“It’s something that we’ve been discussing for a long time,” said Competition Committee co-chair Rich McCay. “Far too many overtime games have been decided without Brett Favre ever getting the ball, and that’s unacceptable. People pay to see Favre play football, not sit on the sidelines while some nobody is kicking a 42-yard-field goal to ‘win’ the game, or while quarterbacks from other teams are playing.”
McCay said that last season’s Vikings-Saints playoff game, in which the Saints won in overtime after winning the coin flip, factored heavily into the decision.
“That game was a disaster. No game should end like that,” said McCay, "with Brett Favre standing there on the sidelines, useless, while the Saints are marching down the field to glory! Hello? What’s wrong with that picture? That should have been Brett in there. We all know that. The Saints know that. With this new rule, the big guy will at least get a chance with the ball, which is all he usually needs.”
Under the new format, if a team other than Brett Favre’s team wins the overtime coin flip, they can proceed down the field in the normal manner and attempt to score. If they do, Favre’s team will be given the ball one more time.
In games in which Favre is not playing, conventional overtime rules will apply. Or, if the schedule permits, team officials may dispatch a private jet to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to speak to Favre in hopes of convincing him to play for them in overtime.
“The new overtime format won't affect every game, every year,” said Titans coach Jeff Fisher. “But it does affect the most important ones: the ones Brett Favre plays in. Seeing him with the ball in OT is one of the biggest thrills in sports. And frankly, if my team is playing Brett’s team and we go into overtime and he doesn’t even get a chance to work his magic, I don’t evenwantto win that game.”
Surprisingly, every team in the league voted in favor of the measure, with several owners insisting that giving Favre an extra chance in OT was no big deal.
“Outstanding. Give him the ball,” said one owner, who asked not to be identified. “You know Brett: he’ll run out of the pocket, see a receiver triple-covered, think ‘I’m Brett Favre,’ and then hurl it across his body into coverage. If anyone should be against this rule, it should be Brett. It’s just going to make him look bad.”