In the Friday’s Battle of the Bay Area, the San Francisco 49ers beat out the Oakland Raiders.
What was on the line, you ask? The ninth spot in the NFL draft.
Both the 49ers and the Raiders finished with 6-10 records, so the NFL goes to the tiebreaker: strength of schedule. But there, they were tied too, both at .512 SOS.
So the multi-billion NFL settles the whole thing with an uber-sophisticated method: a coin flip.
But not just any coin. Nay, a common U.S. quarter won’t do for this affair. The league actually had a special coin made for the occasion, with the Raiders logo on one side and the Niners’ on the other. So no one even got the option of calling “tails” (tails never fails, you know).
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) February 28, 2018
Anyway, the toss happened on the stage set up for players to do their bench press testing, and it was Rod Woodson – yes, he played for both the Raiders and the 49ers – who had the honor of tossing the coin.
The general managers for both teams – Oakland’s Reggie McKenzie and San Francisco’s John Lynch – were on the stage for the moment, which was shown live on NFL Network.
So San Francisco will pick ninth in the draft, and the Raiders will pick 10th.
It’s another win for the 49ers; as ESPN’s Field Yates noted, they’re undefeated since Jimmy Garoppolo became their starter.
Since both teams already have their quarterback in place, they at least won’t be in competition for a player at that position. There wouldn’t be a big dropoff in terms of player talent picking ninth over 10th, but as McKenzie noted, trading the ninth pick could net a bit more in return in a trade versus the 10th pick.