The NFL is considering expanding the regular season and/or expanding the number of playoff participants. Is this really necessary? The great thing about the NFL as opposed to the NHL, the NBA, and Major League Baseball is that the regular season games have tremendous importance. A 16 game schedule puts greater importance on an NFL regular season game than any of the regular season games of the other three major sports. Should the consideration be about the quality and importance of the games or the quantity and the financial gain of the product? I would like to think it is the former.
By expanding the regular season to 18 games or allowing 16 teams into the playoffs, the quality of play will most likely decrease and, certainly, the quality of the teams making the playoffs will certainly decrease. Do we really want half of the league in playoff games, with some carrying a .500 or lower record? Last year, the Cardinals, Titans, Bears, and Chargers would have gotten in. Three of the four did not have winning records.
Isn’t this really the problem with the college football bowl system? There are currently 35 Bowl games allowing 70 college football teams into the postseason – 70!! That is a ridiculous number and has watered down the interest to almost nil until the major bowls are played. Sure, it works for ESPN, but does it really create more interest from the average fan? It does not.
There is no better sports product in the world than the NFL. Why? The regular season games are important; the playoff games and the way they are scheduled are perfect; and the Super Bowl is the “greatest spectacle in sports”. Diluting the product will undoubtedly make more money, but in the long run, it will, also, dilute interest.
I know the only constant is change, but it is not always for the better – Leave the NFL alone!
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- With the Newtown shooting, it was very difficult to watch the news this weekend and then try to enjoy regular programming. The topical shows like Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Jay Leno, etc. just did not seem right for the moment. Laughing was difficult.
- I taught school for almost 30 years and was on the school safety committee. About 15 years ago, I was asked to go into a classroom, ask a young man to come out in the hallway with his gym bag, and search the bag for a weapon. Bringing a weapon to school back then was unthinkable. I thought this was a total waste of time. In the bag was a REAL gun and the police were called. The student was being bullied and brought the gun to school to feel safer. That was 15 years ago. I never forgot that day! This week made that memory more vivid again.
- I mentioned last week that our playoff football teams all lost to bigger, stronger Philadelphia private schools. I said we, therefore, needed to get bigger and stronger. Well, none of the schools that beat our schools won the state championship playoff games (some did not even get there). Our schools need to get MUCH bigger and MUCH stronger.
- High school basketball started last week. Two of our four games went overtime. An exciting start to what should be an exciting year. Lots of parity.
- No blog next week so HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY WEEK! (I will make my NFL picks, however).
NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 11-5 ) ( 94-84 for the season – 64% )
- NEW ORLEANS
- SAN FRANCISCO
- SAN DIEGO
- GREEN BAY
- NEW ENGLAND