Under new rules in effect this year, no postseason game can end if the opening drive results in a field goal. Reader Paladin58 found out what this truly means for a team winning the coin toss. In the Super Bowl.
Last week, Paladin58 picked up Madden NFL 11 and began the "Madden Cup," a yearlong competition held among his friends, with game scores recorded on a whiteboard the entire year until the next Madden edition arrives. Aug. 10 brought a clean slate, and Paladin58 cued up his Miami Dolphins versus the Green Bay Packers in the game's new Super Bowl presentation.
Paladin58 anticipated he'd get ripped by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' passing attack, and he was right, but a steadfast commitment to the running game, with some unorthodox implementation, brought him back to tie the game at 24 at the close of regulation.
Green Bay had 417 yards passing at the end of regulation, which would be a Super Bowl record. The Dolphins won the coin toss, however, favorable conditions even under the new postseason playoff rules. "I started marching down the field, throwing out plays like punches, first a couple jabs up the gut, then a haymaker through the air," Paladin58 says.
He reaches the Packer 20 and continues pounding the ball - an orthodox strategy under the old sudden death rules: stay in field goal range, protect the ball, kick it and win. But this year, in the postseason, the team losing the overtime coin toss is guaranteed a possession if their opponent's first drive does not end in a touchdown. Paladin58, correctly sensing his Dolphins were dead meat if they didn't get six, does what would be considered unfathomably stupid a year ago. He passes on third down from the Packer 17.
"I loft a pass through the air towards Davonne Bess, feeling confident, until I see AJ Hawk snap like a fly trap," he writes. "It was Cover 2 Buc, and I couldn't see him there." Hawk pounces on the errant pass and sprints untouched past the stunned Dolphins, 87 yards for the win and the Lombardi Trophy.
"I was hoping to get a win for Box Scores, but fate just didn't have it for me," Paladin58 writes. But, "I felt mighty proud of the 212 rushing yards to his 30."
Remember, all you have to do to get yourself featured in Box Scores' Game of the Week is take a picture of whatever you've been playing - crappy cell picture will do - write up a couple sentences about why it was so compelling, and email it to me, owenATkotakuDOTcom, with "Box Scores" in the subject header.
Now the Kotaku Sports open thread commences with the sports TV schedule for today and tomorrow. All times are U.S. Eastern.
The Premier League is underway in England, with Arsenal and Blackpool wrapping up a short time ago on ESPN2. But for those for whom "football" means helmets and pads, tonight's pre-season action features the Steelers at the Giants at 7 p.m., and the Packers at Seahawks at 10, both games on the NFL Network.
Tomorrow, Minnesota faces San Francisco at Candlestick Park on NBC, 8 p.m.
- Major League Baseball
Fox's games of the week today are Atlanta at the Cubs, Angels at Twins, or Rangers at Orioles, 4 p.m. There's also the White Sox at the Royals, 7 p.m.
Tomorrow, it's the Giants at Cardinals on TBS at 2 p.m.; Braves-Bugs at 2:10 on WGN, and Angels vs. Twins on ESPN in the 8 p.m. finale.
- Little League Baseball
If you're this voyeuristic, there are no fewer than five LLWS games, four opening rounders and one an elimination contest, on ESPN and ABC. ESPN's on it's second game now, broadcasting again at 6 and 8 p.m. ABC has the 3 p.m. game, Georgia vs. Hawaii. Wasn't that the 2008 Sugar Bowl?
Tomorrow's games are all elimination contests, ESPN at noon, 3 and 6 p.m., ABC at 2 p.m., and ESPN2 at 8 p.m.
Strikeforce throws down in Houston at 10 p.m. on Showtime. Light heavyweight champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal makes his first title defense, against Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante.
NASCAR's Sprint Cup is three races from the Chase For The Cup. Tonight they run in Bristol, Tenn., a short track where full contact racing was invented. It's the Irwin Tools Night Race on ABC, 7:30 p.m.
Remember, you may send Game of the Week nominations to owenATkotakuDOTcom, and flag it "Box Scores" in the subject header. Please include your commenter handle for proper credit.