Monday, December 29, 2008

Parity Sucks

About 10 years ago - or possibly 15 (research is for real journalists) - the head honchos in the NFL made "parity" among the league's teams the primary focus. The reason being (I'm speculating here, because again, research is for people being paid to do so) that when more teams are competitive, there's more drama. The games and broader playoff picture becomes more interesting which inevitably leads to more butts in stadium seats in more cities and more eyes on the TV Sunday afternoons. And, obviously, more money for the NFL. In short, more competitive teams equals a better product for a broader audience.

So the NFL tweaked the draft and free agency rules and instituted a complicated and largely fair salary cap. The hope being that the days of the dynastic super teams like the Niners in the '80s, the Cowboys in the '90s and the Patriots in the early aughts would eventually fade, leading to better opportunities for the other 30-odd teams to get a shot at a memorable season.

Putting aside the fact that the Lions obviously didn't buy into this parity nonsense, the results of such a policy have never been as starkly realized as they have this year. Let's take a look at the fortunes of the 2007-2008 playoff teams (with the teams failing to return to the playoffs this year struck out):

AFC:

1. New England Patriots
2. Indianapolis Colts
3. San Diego Chargers
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
6. Tennessee Titans

Not too much turnover, but it should be noted that the Chargers made it in this year with an 8-8 record. There should be a constitutional amendment banning such an outcome.

The real carnage took place in the NFC:

1. Dallas Cowboys
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Seattle Seahawks
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5. New York Giants
6. Washington Redskins

Basically, if you went to the playoffs last year in the NFC and didn't win the Super Bowl, it became time to give someone else a chance.

Speaking of which, with the Jets failing to make the postseason again (F-A-I-L FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!), that means Favre's first season as a non-Packer has ended. Therefore, we need to update the KAR Brett Favre Status Alert Level:


We're keeping an eye on the situation, and will update frequently as events warrant.

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