One of the many things I love about football is the exclusivity.
In all levels of college football, only a handful of teams make the playoffs. Hell, in the highest level of college football, only FOUR teams qualify for the College Football Playoff.
Before this offseason, only six out of 16 teams in each conference can qualify for the NFL playoffs. Teams worked hard to attain one of the top two seeds because those seeds would be afforded a bye in the playoffs, with the top seed earning the all-important home-field advantage before the Super Bowl.
After yesterday’s vote to expand the NFL playoffs by one team, I’m not so sure if it enhances the value of the playoffs.
Look, I get that the owners want to generate as much revenue as they possibly can. I get that. But I don’t want to see half the damn teams making the playoffs. It cheapens the value of the regular season.
Look at the NBA and NHL. Do you think most sports fans give two damns about the regular season? In both leagues, literally HALF the teams qualify for the playoffs anyway, so why bother?
And if you think that’s bad, look at college basketball. Does anyone even watch regular season games anymore? After all, 68 teams qualify for the men’s tournament — and 64 for the women.
Hell as much as we love to bash the folks in Major League Baseball, at least they get it right. Even with the extra wild cards in both leagues, only FIVE out of 15 teams from each league can qualify for the MLB playoffs. That’s a 33% clip. So as is the case with college football, every game in the long-ass MLB season MATTERS.
It was the same in the NFL. The season is a sprint instead of a marathon, and every game was met with a certain sense of urgency.
I fear that will start to change with this recent playoff expansion. What’s to stop the NFL owners of expanding this to eight teams? That would make it a shameful 50% clip.
They couldn’t be THAT money-hungry, could they?