Glauber: Mara hopes new OT rule will pass

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FILE - New York Giants owner John Mara

FILE - New York Giants owner John Mara speaks during the second day of mini camp at Giants Stadium. (June 16, 2009) Photo Credit: Newsday / Howard Schnapp

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Bob Glauber Newsday columnist Bob Glauber

Glauber has been Newsday's national football columnist since 1992. He was Newsday's football writer covering the Jets and

Giants president and co-owner John Mara, a member of the NFL's influential Competition Committee, is hopeful that his fellow owners will pass a modified overtime rule at this week's annual spring meetings in Orlando.

Realistically, however, he doesn't expect it to happen.

"I still think it's an uphill battle because you have to get 24 votes to change it," Mara told Newsday in an interview. "I don't know if there are enough people around the league willing to change the current system."

Overtime has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with a greater number of teams winning overtime games after winning the coin toss. Between 1974 and 1993, it was a 50-50 split of teams winning the games after winning or losing the coin toss. But after kickoffs were moved back to the 30-yard line starting with the 1994 season, nearly 60 percent of games have been won by the team winning the coin toss (not necessarily scoring on the opening drive of the overtime).

Under the proposal, the modified overtime system would be limited only to playoff games:

Both teams would be guaranteed at least one possession, unless the team receiving the ball to start the overtime scores a touchdown, or if the kicking team records a safety.

If the receiving team does not score on its first possession, the kicking team would then get a possession. If it scored a field goal or a touchdown, it would win.

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If the receiving team scores a field goal, then the kicking team would get a possession. If the kicking team then scores a touchdown, it would win. If the kicking team scores a field goal, the game would proceed as sudden death until one team scores.

"I do think the numbers are skewed enough where there's a lot of merit to us doing it in the postseason," Mara said. "The rules are different in overtime in the playoffs anyway [regular-season overtime can result in a tie], so I don't think that part of it is a big deal.''

The Competition Committee voted 6-2 to recommend passage of the overtime change. If the ownership at large reflected those numbers, the measure would pass 24-8.

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