Rumblings are that owners have discussed whether to change the current system of rewarding division winners with a home playoff game, or if playoff seeds should be based strictly on record. It’s being discussed because the winner of the NFC and the AFC West could be 8-8 or 7-9, while a team with 10 or 11 wins could have to go on the road. This year, that means that the NY Giants, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, or the NY Jets may have a better record but be on the road for their first game, or even not make the playoffs.
Reality is the following:
NY (1) Baltimore (24) New Orleans (53)
SF (6) Seattle (14) St. Louis (21) San Diego (28) Kansas City (31)
In parentheses is the TV Market sizes for each of the teams. And notice that 3 of the teams are in the East Coast, specifically the NorthEast area that the NFL (and all other sports) love. Add in that the SF and San Diego are NOT football towns (fair weather fans at the best), St. Louis is a baseball town, and the fever that New Orleans captured last year, you can understand why owners and the NFL want to re-seed. It’s more favorable to the East Coast teams, their respective TV markets and their respective fans.
Fans have complained about this in the NBA in the last few years, the Western Conference is dominating the regular season for the last 10 years and yet watch teams in the Eastern Conference make the playoffs with sub-.500 records. David Stern, though, wants to hear nothing about this. And the reason is quite simple, got to have the East Coast teams in the playoffs. Stern would any day take a sub-.500 NY Knicks or Philadelphia 76er team over the Golden State Warriors or Memphis Grizzlies teams (and their TV markets).
I’m against the re-seeding concept. With how they schedule the games (divisional games now having more focus towards the end of the season) and the natural rivals some teams have, divisional play is a fun part of the league (Ravens/Steelers x 2, Raiders/Chiefs/Broncos/Chargers x2, NFC East x 2) no matter the division. Games are competitive, has gotten more chippy and all teams recognize win your divisional games, have a great opportunity to make the playoffs. Completely re-seeding takes this away and you should then just go to one division for the NFC and one division for the AFC and have everyone just play each team 1 time in their division.
I’m also against it because I don’t care about the East Coast markets (I know, Saints aren’t east coast. I did take geography). I’m already tired about the Jets strength and conditioning coach tripping a Dolphin, about Big Ben’s crooked nose, about the MVP battle between Tom Brady and Michael Vick, etc. etc. etc. And not because those may not be stories, but because the play of Darren McFadden, Phillip Rivers, the interview skills of Mike Singletary, the fact that the best QB in the NFC West was on Dancing with the Stars are all stories that get no play from a league perspective. The East Coast doesn’t care, so let’s not spend much time on it from NFL’s view.
So No to Revis Contract Talks, No to Tiki Barber getting any more TV time about the Giants, No No No to the East Coast Bias. And No to the Re-Seeding for Playoffs.