By now, every football fan must be aware of the long-winded explanation of the NFL’s new overtime rules given by referee Ed Hochuli in the Giants-49ers NFC conference championship game this past weekend.
I’m not picking on Hochuli. For one, he’d squash me like a bug. But I’m pretty sure other officials would have just as much difficulty explaining a rule that the NFL tried to force into the rulebook before perfecting it.
But, Ed… seriously. It took about a minute to explain something that could be summed up in two sentences, spanning maybe ten seconds:
“If the opening possession of overtime results in a field goal, the other team will get the opportunity to respond. All other means of scoring will be treated as sudden death and the game will end.”
Simple. Succinct. Informative. If an offensive touchdown is scored, the game is over. If a defensive touchdown occurs, the game is over. If a safety happens, the game is over.
I think Hochuli got a bit nervous in his moment to shine and fumbled the explanation, but the rules aren’t nearly as complicated as one might think.