We were speaking with D the other day when he asked about the demise of VFLOAB. I told him that we hadn’t had much free time (true, neglecting to tell him that writing in 90 degree weather has never been our cup of tea). But I casually mentioned that a post ripping the NFL was due up sooner rather than later. D responded “What?!?! This year has been great!” and for a few hours I thought maybe I was missing something. Even my defense and reasoning as to why the NFL sucked was half assed and half hearted.
But in reading Simmons’ picks today, I was reminded why the NFL sucks this year – EVERYONE IN THE NFL STINKS! Okay, the New England Patriots look really, really good. And the Colts have Peyton Manning… but after that? Bueller?… Bueller?… Bueller?…
Looking at Simmons’ power poll he has Tennessee and Jacksonville ranked fifth and sixth respectively and you know what… I didn’t jump out of my chair thinking that Bill had lost it. In fact, I shrugged and said to myself, “He’s probably right.” And that’s it.
I mean seriously, as Bill would go on to point out:
“(Intriguing subplot for this game: If the Bengals lose, I'm moving them into the Bruce Coslet Division of next week's Power Poll, only I'm keeping the Chiefs in there no matter what happens because they stink. If Cleveland loses at home to Miami and the Jets lose at home to Philly, unless Atlanta can somehow win on Monday night, that means an astonishing 11 teams will appear in the Coslet Division for Week 7. In other words, more than one-third of the league would fall into the "completely sucks" category. Amazing. But please, let's expand and add a 33rd team. That's a great idea.)”
That’s right 11 teams (according to Simmons) in the NFL out right stink. In baseball I count 8 or 9 teams that flat out stink (depending on where you stand with Houston (and the entire National League)). In the NFL? You have St. Louis, Miami, New Orleans, Kansas City, San Francisco, Minnesota, Atlanta, Buffalo, New York Jets – 9 right there; and I’ll add Cleveland, Houston, Oakland, and Carolina to that list. Now we’re up to 13… and Simmons has Denver in the stink area and Cincinnati not far behind and I’ll be honest with you, Philly and Detroit (a healthy Bears D destroys that Lions team two weeks ago) aren’t far off either. All told, we may have 17 teams that aren’t good! Seventeen teams! That’s over half the league! And let’s not forget Arizona and the New York Giants who might not be that good… it’s just that they’re not that bad.
It’s sad to say, but the NFL today isn’t about being good, it’s about not being as bad. This is why no one should have been surprised when the Packers started 4-0 or the Redskins suddenly are 3-1… or that Tennessee with no wide receivers and average running backs are arguably the 5th best team in the NFL!
(In fact, look at the number of teams who have a good shot at the playoffs and shit receivers: Tennessee, Jacksonville, San Diego, Seattle, and the Chicago Bears. Amazing).
As I have pointed out in passing, the way the NFL does it’s scheduling, where all the 4th place teams play all the other 4th place teams, suddenly getting ‘good’ in the NFL isn’t all that difficult. If you’re slightly better than those other 4th place teams, suddenly you’ve got 4 wins. If you can find five more wins in your remaining 12 games (not that difficult considering divisional games and home field advantage)… you are a playoff team. Look at the Jets last year. They played the 4th place schedule, made the playoffs, and now, suck with a 2nd place schedule, they’re staring a 6-10 season in the face. Meanwhile, the Redskins, Houston, Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Arizona, all facing 4th place schedules, suddenly look like playoff teams.
It’s complete and utter bullshit. And a really lame way for the NFL to create competition. Just imagine if next year the Red Sox, Indians, Yankees, and Angels faced each other 50 times, while the White Sox got to beat up on the Royals, Rangers, and Devil Rays (this assumes of course the White Sox make a few moves to not suck as much in 2008)? Wouldn’t the 2008 playoffs look something like the White Sox, Red Sox, Angels, and some one else (say the Blue Jays)?
In effect this is what the NFL has done with their schedule. They’ve rigged it so that bad teams face each other – thus a bad team that is slightly better will win those games. Meanwhile the good teams face each other – and the good teams that are slightly worse suddenly lose a few more games than normal. All of a sudden we have pretenders in the playoffs and fake competition and ‘races’.
At least the cream is able and usually does rise to the top (I’m looking at you 2001 Patriots and 2005 Steelers).