Imagine playing a game of Chess for an hour and you and your opponent are at a standstill; it's a tie. But instead of continuing the game at the 60-minute mark, you go into overtime and flip a coin. The person who guesses the toss correctly gets to move some of his pieces first, and the first person who nabs a pawn or a bishop wins the entire game.
The NFL has recently voted to change their sudden death overtime rule in the 2010-2011 playoffs. And Madden 11 will, of course, observe those changes and allow users to use them in normal games, too.
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"Yep, we do support the new OT rules," Madden 11 creative director Ian Cummings told me via e-mail. "We turned on the new rules by default in Play Now and Online games as well because we felt that type of one-off game is kind of 'always the playoffs'…in that it’s always important, there’s no next week, and there’s no ties.
"The only way to get to the default 2009 (and before) rules is in franchise or online franchise, in the regular season naturally."
This was first confirmed on Spike TV's "EA Sports Kickoff Special," I'm told, but the lack of cable in my house kept me in the dark. You should also know that the observance of the new OT rules isn't the only switch that will be added this year courtesy of NFL owners meetings. As Pastapadre reported eons ago, Madden 11 will support the new umpire positions. Teams liked to use the umpires positioned behind defensive tackles as picks, essentially meat shields, during passing plays. Those umpires during real games, and in Madden 11, will now be behind the offensive side of the ball to prevent this silliness and possible injury.
The new OT rules aren't that big of a change. If a team who wins a coin toss scores a touchdown, the game ends immediately. If it's just a field goal, though, the opposing team will get a chance to try and score in order to tie again or win with a touchdown. It's not a perfect system, but it's certainly better--and the rule is in the upcoming game in a franchise that has always been defined by its realism.
Will you use the new OT rules in your Play Now and Online games? Have you ever experienced an OT loss because of a great kickoff return and a second down field goal? Tell us what's up in the comments and on the boards!