The NFL's overtime rule: Complain about it or just shut up and play?

The Baltimore Sun

Writing another week's sports media notes because management said I would be fired if I interviewed for a job as an American Idol judge:

* On Showtime's Inside the NFL this week, Jim Nantz and his CBS partner, Phil Simms, debated the NFL's overtime rule. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts-San Diego Chargers result - with the Chargers scoring on their initial possession of overtime - Nantz said it's unfair that both teams don't get a chance on offense.

Simms disagreed, in fact citing the Ravens in his argument.

Some of what they said, according to a transcript from Showtime:

Nantz: "If you are a coach and ... you've worked since July in two-a-days, you've gone through a whole season and now you win the coin flip in a playoff game in overtime and you're going to defer? You're going to kick it away, right?"

Simms: "If I have the Baltimore Ravens' defense and a certain climate element, I might kick it away, absolutely. You know, play defense. If the coaches don't have a problem with it and the players in the NFL don't. Did you call any coaches this weekend? I called two coaches specifically about this. And the first thing they said was: 'We have no problem with it. Play defense, tackle the guy.' Quit complaining about the rules."

* Warren Sapp interviews the Ravens' Ray Lewis on the NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning tomorrow (2 p.m. - that's still morning on the West Coast). Let's hope these two shy, retiring types can manage to find something to say.

* Fox's Michael Strahan said of his former team that whatever hiccups the New York Giants have experienced lately shouldn't be blamed on the absence of wide receiver/gunslinger Plaxico Burress.

"The Giants played well at the beginning of the season without Plaxico," Strahan said in a news release, "so in the later games where they struggled, I think you can pinpoint their problem to the running backs than any void that Plaxico left. Brandon Jacobs' absence is a void because he sets up Derrick Ward that sets up Ahmad Bradshaw. Those three guys really have been the key to what the Giants have done this year and will be the key moving forward in the playoffs."

* The Ravens' television ratings this regular season increased 12 percent over 2007, for an average of 27.6. And the NFL also said the 11 highest-rated shows in Baltimore TV this season are Ravens games or pre- or post-game programming.

* And one more NFL ratings note: Baltimore finished as the No. 3 market in average audience for NBC's Sunday Night Football. With a 16.4, Baltimore was behind only Indianapolis (18.8) and Washington (17.0).

* Brian Billick does have a way with words. Appearing on Sirius Radio's The Opening Drive this week, he was asked about leaving his Fox job and going back to coaching. He talked about what a good situation he had as head coach of the Ravens, which makes him more particular in considering another position.

"As an assistant coach - and I've been there - looking for that head coaching job, you throw out that, well, if it's the right situation with the right people, then Charles Manson would offer you a job and you'd take it," Billick said, according to a transcript. "I'm in a little bit different situation in that I came from a pretty good first marriage, so to speak."

So could it be that Los Angeles won't get an NFL franchise until Charlie is paroled?

* With the new year, WBAL (1090 AM) switched from Fox Sports - given the arrival of Fox Sports 1370 in the fall - to Sporting News Radio, which airs on weekends and weeknights. Of course, I only tune in to listen to Peter Schmuck, even though he continues to ban me from his show because of something he calls "standards."

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