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Rams vs 49ers – Ties are Weird

“You got lucky.” “No, you got lucky…”

The ‘tie’ has become an odd occurrence in the NFL.  I guess it’s that way with just about every sport.  Worse situation I can think of would be in boxing.  Two fighters standing toe-to-toe trying to determine the more skilled or tougher of the two.  After the bout both athletes are exhausted, bruised, and possibly bloodied and for them to go away without any kind of definitive outcome seems clearly disappointing.  Now I’m sure David would have felt fine coming away with a tie against Goliath.    And of course if you’re best friends fighting in the back yard a tie might be ideal as long as both men make a fair showing of it.  But in most cases a tie is just weird.

In the 80’s there were actually a lot of ties in the NFL.  There was at least one tie every year (except for 1985).  Here is the list*:

Visiting Team Score Home Team Site Date
Green Bay Packers 14–14 Tampa Bay Bucs Tampa Stadium 12-Oct-80
New York Jets 28–28 Miami Dolphins Orange Bowl 4-Oct-81
Green Bay Packers 20–20 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium 19-Dec-82
New York Giants 20–20 St. Louis Cardinals Busch Memorial 24-Oct-83
Philadelphia Eagles 23–23 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome, 4-Nov-84
San Francisco 49ers 10–10 Atlanta Falcons Fulton County Stadium 19-Oct-86
St. Louis Cardinals 10–10 Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium 7-Dec-86
Denver Broncos 17–17 Green Bay Packers County Stadium 20-Sep-87
Kansas City Chiefs 17–17 New York Jets The Meadowlands 2-Oct-88
Kansas City Chiefs 10–10 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Municipal 19-Nov-89

After the 80’s, seems like a tie game occurred only about every 4-5 years.  The last time the Rams participated in a tie game they were the LA Rams and it was 1976 (against the Vikings).  The last tie for the 49ers was ten years later in 1986 (against the Falcons).

Being an underdog Rams fan I can’t really complain about a tie.  Yes, the Rams made a lot of OT mistakes… (see and here’s an excerpt of that from my Sunday article:

Offense Team Management

The Rams gave up a potential 10 points due to bad game management.  There were 2 egregious offenses and they both occurred in OT.  If neither mistake had occurred the Rams would have won the game.  The first occurred on the Rams first play of OT.   From his own 18 yard line Bradford threw a bomb to Danny Amendola.  Amendola was pushed out of bounds just short of the goal line.  Unbelievable.  But very late a flag was thrown.  Apparently, when the Rams tackle came into the game, based upon the formation of the line on the upcoming play, he needed to check in with the offcial.  He didn’t.  The play came all the way back.  Later in OT, with only 2:48 remaining in the game Zeurlein attempts a 53 yard field goal.  The field goal is good, but the Rams are called for delay of game.  5 yards is tacked on to the next kick.  (Do I really need to tell you what happened?) Ack…

…But the 49ers missed a very makeable 41 yard field goal that would have won the game for them.

Overall I think a tie is good for the NFL.  A tie kind of humanizes multi-million dollar athletes and coaches.  With all your scouting, and recruiting, and coaching, and talent you still can’t control the outcome of a game.  I think Sunday’s game was meant to be.  When the OT clock clicked to zero and the score was tied, it struck me what an epic battle I had just witnessed.  Tie or no tie, that’s what I love about football.



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