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Coin Toss Is Seroius Stuff To Falcons


The strategy for the coin toss was clear: Make up your mind and speak clearly.

There wasn't a single flap over a flip on Sunday, the way there was at the start of overtime Thursday in the Pittsburgh-Detroit game.

The most creative moment was in St. Louis, where Atlanta's Jessie Tuggle showed up for the opening ceremony with a placard that said "heads," so referee Ron Winter would have no confusion. The Falcons won the toss, elected to receive and drove to an opening field goal against the St. Louis Rams.

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  • Tuggle said coach Dan Reeves, generally considered a no-nonsense sort, came up with the idea.

    "It may be a little out of character for Dan Reeves to come up with something like that, but we all had a lot of fun with it," Tuggle said.

    Reeves said he was just poking fun.

    "If an official doesn't have a sense of humor, I mean, what the heck," Reeves said. "I hope that they laughed."

    In Oakland, referee Ron Blum asked Darrell Green of Washington to call the toss. Green called "heads" and after he did, Blum turned to him and asked: "Are you sure?"

    Green nodded his head, Blum flipped, it came out heads and the Redskins elected to receive.

    And in Chicago, after someone called "tails," the Bears' Marty Carter jokingly said "I heard heads."

    On Thursday in Detroit, Steelers running back Jerome Bettis said "tails" for the coin flip for overtime. But referee Phil Luckett heard "heads." The Lions won the toss and the Steelers never got the ball as Detroit drove for Jason Hanson's game-winning 42-yard field goal.

    Luckett explained later he heard someone say "heads" before Bettis said "tails." Bettis and Carnell Lake, the other Steelers co-captain at the toss, both denied that.

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