How Can A Tie In The NFL Feel So Wrong When A Footy Draw Feels So Right?
The NFL and footy came together in holy matrimony this past week thanks to the crossover appeal of ties and people not kicking well, and, let’s be honest, NFL fans were not happy about it. We hold these truths to be self-evident: Draws in places like the Premier League and the World Cup group stage are a fitting outcome that usually serves to highlight the flow of 90 minutes and heightens further drama down the road; ties in the NFL are an absolute nonsense after three hours of start-stop pointgasms.
Soccer is a game of failure — conversion rates are low, it’s hard to breakdown a well-drilled defense in the attacking third, etc. That’s why, on average, the EPL sees 2.68 goals per game. That’s why Mohamed Salah was the deadliest finisher in the division last season with a conversion rate of 23.5 percent.
In the NFL, the average game sees a total of 46.8 points. An elite kicker, like Robbie Gould of the San Francisco 49ers, makes 95 percent of his kicks (39 of 41 last season). And that’s why the Minnesota Vikings spent a fifth round pick on Daniel Carlson, only to cut the rookie after he went 0 for 3 against the Packers on Sunday (including a shanked 35-yard field goal as time expired and his young mind collapsed).
A draw in the NFL is akin to not having played at all. A draw like the one Brighton recorded against Southampton on Monday — coming back from 2-0 down with just 25 minutes remaining and climaxing with a point-salvaging penalty in the 90th minute — could prove the difference between top flight survival and relegation to the Championship.
Let’s go to the tweets.
“Yo...soccer blows because what sport wants to end in a tie?!” Said every American sports fan idiot who soccer. How’s the 1st 2 @NFL weeks you losers?!— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) September 16, 2018
fun fact: the Premier League and NFL have had the same number of draws/ties this weekend ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/f0pB8XTH6J— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) September 17, 2018
And here are some interesting factoids concerning ties in the NFL and draws in the EPL and MLS.
Since the NFL adopted a sudden death overtime period in 1974, the league has seen 24 ties. The highest-scoring tie game in NFL history was a 37-37 thriller between Carolina and Cincinnati back in 2014.
The 2017-18 EPL season saw 99 draws — 26 percent of matches ending without a clear winner. Of those 99 draws, 32 were matches that ended 0-0.
The most draws in a 38-game Premier League season is 17, a record jointly held by Newcastle United (03-04), Aston Villa (06-07, 11-12) and Sunderland (14-15).
Jose Mourinho came close to equaling that record during his first season with Manchester United, recording 15 draws with a side that allowed only 29 goals but scored fewer than Bournemouth. Respect, respect, respect.
The most ties in MLS history was set by the Chicago Fire in 2014. The Fire drew 18 of their 34 matches. The Fire continue to be the barometer of undesirable things in the league.
The lack of atmosphere in Chicago is the worst kind of advertisement for #MLS on national TV. It hammers home just how critical supporters are to the product.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) September 16, 2018
Between 1920 and 1973, the NFL had no overtime and games ended in ties after regulation. In 1920, the league experienced 17 ties (the most ever). By 1973, that number was seven.
The most consecutive draws in a 38-game EPL season is seven, a record set by Manchester City in '09-10. City played to a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Oct. 5, and then the Citizens just kept drawing games until a victory over Chelsea on Dec. 5. That’s right, two straight months of sharing the spoils.
The longest such streak in MLS history is six games, a record jointly held by San Jose ('04-05), Colorado (’11) and Chicago (’09).
While 0-0 draws are the bane of casuals everywhere, there have been some absolute barnburners when it comes to score draws.
In 2010, Motherwell and Hibernian played to a 6-6 draw in the Scottish Premier League. In England, Sir Alex Ferguson’s final match in charge was a famous 5-5 draw with West Brom.
In international football, the most recent 10-goal thriller involved the Netherlands and Belgium in 1999.
Draws, folks. They’re just a fact of life, and soccer’s life.