Overtime coin toss causes some confusion

The overtime coin toss has caused controversy, from time to time. The Steelers-Lions Thanksgiving Day “he said heads” gaffe from 1998 caused the league to ditch the ritual of calling it in the air. In a 2015 playoff game between the Packers and Cardinals, the coin didn’t flip.

Last night, some believe that Seahawks backup quarterback and official overtime coin-toss caller Geno Smith called tails before a toss that landed heads, giving Seattle the first crack at the ball in the extra session. The videos seem to be inconclusive; the league’s position is that Smith definitely called heads.

And here’s the best evidence that he did: 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman hasn’t complained about it, either in the moment or after the game or on social media or in a post-game interview with someone like Mike Silver. If Sherman, who was right there, believed Smith had said tails, keeping quiet would be out of character for Sherman.

Really, it would be out of character for most people to say nothing in a situation like that — especially in the highly-competitive world of pro sports. Thus, silence in this specific case operates as the tiebreaker.

Smith said heads.

Some would say it doesn’t matter. Each team had multiple opportunities to score; the 49ers twice and the Seahawks three times. But the 49ers may have been the team to get three cracks at winning, if they’d won the toss.

Still, Smith said heads.

You might like