It’s January 1, 1984, I am an eight year old fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers (collegiate American Football team). We are playing for the National Title versus a big underdog Miami Hurricanes team, but the game is in Miami. Our team has been dominant throughout the season like few teams – record is 12-0, we have the Heisman Trophy winner, averaged 52 pts/game, etc . Twice throughout the game we fall behind by 17 points, but rally. Late in the fourth quarter, we are down 24-31. Our top wide receiver and future NFL pro-bowler inexplicably drops a perfect pass in the end zone, but despite that we are able to convert a fourth down into a touchdown to bring the score 30-31. At this point, a coach has two options – attempt an extra point (kick, much like a field goal and is practically a given that it will be successful) for one point, or attempt a rushing/passing play for two points. Our coach goes for the win with a two point conversion – it’s broken up, we go on to lose 30-31, I am crushed…though we remain a good program, the national title evades the Huskers until 1994. While most people applaud our coach (Tom Osborne) for trying to win, conventional wisdom is that had we opted for tying the game we likely win, or share some piece of, the national title as we would have finished without any losses.
A decade later, the American college football instituted an overtime scenario for any game ending in a draw after regulation. The NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, effectively all of our major team sports, have some overtime/extra time/extra inning in place for this event. With the exception of playoffs, the NFL and NHL allow for a draw should no winner be determined after the extra period.
Obviously we Americans hate draws. I was curious as to your thoughts on that. Is this an American phenomenon to feel that it’s unacceptable that a winner cannot be announced even if the teams remained even after regulation? Not that Liverpool fans prefer draws, but I believe there is a general acceptance in the soccer (football) community that draws are part of the game. I am just curious of your general thoughts and feelings about it.
Nebraska winning 32 to 31 looks nicer than a 31-31 draw, but would additional championship hardware look better than losing 30-31 and no title to claim?