The NFL is a league of contrasts. There are a million rules but most, by the league’s own admission, are not officiated to the letter. There are dozens of penalties but most, by the league’s own admission, are not called. There is an intensive, slow motion replay system used to make sure that calls are precise and correct but, as we often say here, the most basic measurement of the game is still made using a link chain and the rough estimate of an official 20 yards away.
Contrasts. The key, I think, is perception. Football fans have to believe, rightly or wrongly, that behind the quirks and oddities and honest efforts, there is an integrity to the sport — that is to say, people need to believe it’s fair.
With that in mind, I’m just not sure how much longer than can keep making an overtime coin flip such a critical part of who will win playoff football games.
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