Last night's thrilling overtime Monday Night Football matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks could have gone either way, just like Seahawks' backup quarterback Geno Smith's coin toss call. The coin toss, which is oh so important with the regular season overtime rules, sparked controversy with people not knowing whether Smith actually said heads or not.
Videos of the call spread across social media with many insisting No. 7 said tails, which was not what the referee heard and flipped, while others were adamant he really did say heads.
Make the judgement call for yourself here.
What volume you played it at, which video it was, whether you were trying to hear heads or tails and I imagine differing in hearing between listeners, made NFL fans split on the consensus.
Well, the case has finally been cracked.
Smith, who many wondered why he was even out there as Russell Wilson's backup, said he did in fact call heads, according to Jim Trotter who said he asked Smith about it after the game.
The 29 year old also said it is a Seahawks tradition for the backup to be on the field for the overtime toss, which is why he was in the spotlight to begin with. Here I was thinking it was because he has the unique ability to call something that can be interpreted as two sides of the coin at the same time, guaranteeing a chance to receive the ball to start.
I wonder if the silver coin had fallen on tails if Seahawks fans would argue that was actually the call ... we'll never know.
Smith explained that the reasoning behind the call was purely based on mathematics. When calling an overtime coin flip, he goes with the opposite of whatever Wilson called ahead of the game. According to Wilson, (and maybe math?) the coin is less likely to flip the same way twice in a game.
I have a faint memory of doing this experiment in fifth grade math, but it's been a minute so I'll just trust Wilson. Can any mathematicians confirm?
And hey, it worked out for the Seahawks, who handed the final undefeated team its first loss in a game that came down to a field goal with one second left.
People who hear tails will probably always be #TeamTails, but at least now we know the coin toss origin story.