After the second Super Bowl ever to go into overtime, San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs fans raise their voices to express opinions about the new overtime rules. Here’s my take.

While I haven’t been a huge football fan since the Chargers left San Diego for Los Angeles, I do enjoy watching the biggest game of the season. Not only do we get great commercials and a halftime show for free, but we also get to see two of the greatest teams from that season put their best of the best foot forward.

This year’s showdown was between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Before I choose a team to root for, I do some research. I look into how their seasons went, their problem areas and see why others are rooting for a certain team.

This year, and last year, I rooted for the Chiefs. In my eyes, they are promising. While they didn’t have that underdog fire the 49ers had, they have more recent Super Bowl experience and know to take risks when necessary.

Usually, a Super Bowl lasts three and a half hours long but this year’s game lasted nearly four hours because of a final score of 19-19. There needs to be a clear winner so overtime was necessary.

The NFL changed their overtime rules in 2017 for the regular season and in 2022 for the postseason. The rules for the regular season remain the same by using the sudden death method, the first to score a touchdown wins in a 10-minute period instead of the old 15-minute period.

However, overtime rules in the postseason used to be that you get 10 extra minutes and the first to score wins. After the 2022 AFC Championship game where the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills went into overtime, the coin toss fell in favor of the Chiefs who got to score first, securing their spot in the Super Bowl. The Bills were eliminated even though they didn’t get a chance to not only score in overtime but they never got to touch the ball. Fans, players and coaches were upset by the fact that the Bills didn’t get a chance to play in overtime, ultimately leading to the rule change in March 2022.

Now, the current rules for overtime during the postseason are that you get 15 extra minutes and both teams get a possession and a chance to score. These rules are fair but only if you know them.

This year’s Super Bowl was the first time we would be able to see the new overtime rules in action. The 49ers won the overtime coin toss and chose to have first possession. In my opinion, they played it safe and went for a field kick instead of a touchdown. Per the new rules, Kansas City got a chance to score and they could either go for the touchdown or play it safe and go for a field kick pushing another round of overtime. As we know, they went for the touchdown with 10 seconds on the clock and became the 8th team to be back-to-back champions. This was the second time a Super Bowl went into overtime.

San Francisco fans were devastated by the loss and during the post-game interviews, 49er players admitted to not knowing that the rules in postseason overtime were different from the regular season rules. That shocks me! You coach a game, play a game and invest your body into a terribly scary physical game but don’t know the rules for when it’s time to give more than everything you have left? No, that sounds like a cop-out to me.

Following the game, the outcome prompted further conversation about what the best overtime rules are, some even drawing attention to what is going on in college football. Their overtime rules start with the coin toss, but, unlike the NFL, there is no timer. You have 25 yards to score and if you can’t after the 4th down, it’s the other team’s turn. This keeps going until a winner is determined, however, after the second overtime period, there is a scoring change from six points for a touchdown to two points. 

However, I don’t like college overtime rules. I feel like they prolong the game instead of just having a sudden death win, no questions asked. If you give the other team a chance to score after your team has already scored, you either have to match it to keep going into extra overtime or go for a higher-scoring play. The longer a game is, the more tensions rise, and personally, I feel my heart racing anytime overtime is played. It’s not the best feeling, though it does feel great when your team ultimately wins. But, overtime itself takes such a toll on the players’ bodies and the whole team’s minds that the continuation of overtime playing isn’t worth it.

Sudden death is definitely the way to go in a regular season because you still have other chances to win games to build your record to go to the playoffs. I like the way that the postseason structure for overtime is set because it gives both teams who have worked extremely hard getting to where they are a chance to prove that they deserve to be there.

Regardless of whether it is during the postseason or regular season, these overtime rules are fair for all and don’t work in favor of any specific team. How overtime is used by both parties is what makes the end result fair and final.