scotland wrote:American football has to consider television in its decisions. They really want it to be exciting, but brief. The old rules were sudden death. While it seemed like the winner of the coin toss won most of the time, I think the statistics actually were pretty close. The big change when it happened in a high profile game, so they tweaked it to what it is now.
Its not like Atlanta didn't have chances in regulation, so despite the Falcons losing, I think the system worked this time.
But all major leagues have to consider ratings. Baseball can have eternal overtime, to the point of having position players end up pitching when the whole bullpen is exhausted. The NHL has two types of overtime, just in case the first type doesn't work. The CFL has their games end pretty briskly after overtime starts, as it is very rare for both teams to answer each other with the exact same points, especially considering in overtime you HAVE to attempt the two point convert on a touchdown. And you haven't seen an overtime until you have seen one team get the touchdown but no convert, and then have a chance to have to stop the opposition twice to win. That's an overtime worth watching to the bitter end.
See this year's Grey Cup (CFL Superbowl if you will). It, also, went to overtime. It also featured an extreme underdog (a 3 year old expansion team) playing the team with the second best record in CFL history. If you skip to 2hrs40mins, you can see overtime. It is still pretty short, was very fun to watch, and was, above all, fair and sensible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsWGAtM1j44&t=9149s
If the stats are close, it just means the defensive team was robbed way, way more often then, as they should obviously have won more, given that they did pretty good while playing into an unfair situation. It'd be like saying "when you give the home side 7 less outs in a baseball game, they still win neartly 50% of the time." That would imply they should, in that world, win way more than 50% of the time.