Donovan McNabb learns a new rule as Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals duel to a 13-13 tie

The Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals battled it out in the trenches for 75 minutes Sunday, scratching and clawing for every yard. When the dust settled, it ended in an extremely unsatisfying 13-13 tie.

But the real news is that Eagles quarterback and future Hall of Famer* Donovan McNabb was blissfully unaware that ties existed in professional football.

No one was more surprised than McNabb that it ended so soon — 3 hours, 46 minutes after the opening kickoff. The 10th-year quarterback thought it would keep going until someone scored, just like a playoff game.

Wrong.

”I didn’t know that,” McNabb said. ”I’ve never been part of a tie. I never even knew it was in the rule book. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game.”

Consider for a moment the juxtaposition of one of the league’s premiere players and the face of a franchise not realizing the rules of overtime against a nation of armchair quarterbacks armed to the teeth w ith an intimate knowledge of football rules, history and statistics.

Consider it a small victory for Joe Six Pack. Something to you knew that Donovan didn’t.

Maybe I’m the only one who is shocked by the irony of fans sitting at home knowing the rules and the signal-caller of one of the teams out there waiting for a second overtime to begin.
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McNabb can tak e solace in the fact that he isn’t the only one unhappy with splitting the chunky soup of victory equally. Bengals quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick called the outcome “terrible.”

The last tie in the NFL was in 2002, when the Steelers and Falcons fought to a 34-34 stalemate.

It raises the question if ties should exist in professional football. It seems like so much time is spent debating the overtime system — one that so often is decided by who gets the ball first — and so little on whether calling a game a draw is a reasonable thing to do.

So, should the NFL look into changing this, or are you OK with a tie every six years or so?

*Subject to interpretation.

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