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30th Oct 2016

Americans are all saying the same weird thing about NFL London finishing as a draw


Kevin Beirne

The United States of America is a country of winners and losers.

In the land of the free, there can be no space for a grey gray area in between. Nuance is overrated, and there can be no room for any ambiguity.

You see this in all walks of life across the pond, but nowhere is it clearer than in the sporting realm where draws (or ties, as they call them) are to be avoided at all costs.

If a baseball game is level at the end of nine innings, they simply have extra innings. While in their other major sports, overtime is the punishment for the teams finishing with the same score. And that’s not just in the cup tournament that is the playoffs, but in the regular, league-style season too.

But when the Cincinnati Bengals arrived in London to face off against Washington at Wembley stadium on Sunday, British NFL fans saw their first ever tie in the history of the NFL London series.

Washington Redskins v Cincinnati Bengals

Because of the physicality of the sport, if a game is still level at the end of the extra period, then it goes down as a tie game – which happens, on average, once every two seasons.

Washington had the best chance to secure victory after kicker Dustin Hopkins split the uprights with a 34-yard field goal as a little over two minutes remained in extra time, but a Cincinnati time-out just before the snap meant Hopkins had to re-take the kick. On his second try, his kick sailed wide left and the game eventually finished level, with 27 points a piece.

It was the second tie game of the season – something that hasn’t happened in the NFL in almost two decades.

And while we know that Americans don’t like to be denied a clear winner, we’re not exactly sure about the nation’s collective description for something we see on a weekly basis over here.

Ok America, whatever you say…

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