The urge to dabble

Is the urge to destroy. TMQ’s quixotic hatred for divisional rivalries demonstrates an uncharacteristic failure to understand why divisions are integral to the NFL:

When the regular season concludes, there is a chance that two 8-8 teams will advance to the playoffs, and a chance that two 10-6 teams will not. It is possible that two 8-8 teams will make the playoffs while an 11-5 team does not. The mere fact that this is possible as the final weekend arrives tells you the NFL playoff system is broken. It must be replaced by a seeded tournament.

What a great idea! In fact, why not get rid of divisions and conferences altogether? Why not get rid of the entire regular season and replace with a big 32-team tournament seeded based on the results of the previous seasontournament? TMQ appears to have forgotten that in last year’s Super Bowl, a 16-0 Patriots team was beaten by a 10-6 Giants team. Football is not all about the record, hence the expression “any given Sunday”. The NFL is arguably the most successful sports league on the planet, so why do otherwise intelligent people insist on attempting to ruin it?

Divisions are what keep people interested when their team is out of it. Simply going to a top-twelve team system will mean that far more teams will be out of contention towards the end of the season, thus reducing fan interest. TMQ should know this, since he’s the one who pointed out how total fan interest actually flags during the playoffs.