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Some Questions On The NFL  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 48
Posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1406 times:

I'm not really a huge fan of the NFL (or any so-called 'professional' sport for that matter....I just don't get or understand the whole tribal mentality thing and I don't care for the crass over-commercialization of it. But those are topics for another day.).

So with that in mind, can any of you explain something to me-namely the road to the Super Bowl?

Now to a layman such as myself, I would think that the best and most logical path would be taking the two teams, one from each division who had the best record in so-called "regular" season and THOSE are the teams that play in the Super Bowl.

But that's not the case. Why are the "wildcard" and "playoffs" necessary? It's those extra sets of games that can and have allowed generally mediocre teams (such as Carolina) to end up at the Superbowl, while teams that generally did much better (such as Green Bay) end up getting sent home. The only way I could see the need for a "playoff" game would be if two teams in the same league had a tied record, in which case they settle it with said playoff game.

If it's simply issue of "slipping in a couple of extra games", then so be it. But then why not just extend "regular" season to 18 games instead of 16?

Any explanations are welcomed.

Thanks.

[Edited 2007-01-17 16:49:13]

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWrenchBender From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1779 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1400 times:

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
the crass over-commercialization of it

You got it right the first time.

More hype=more TV=more hype=more TV=much more $$$$$

WrenchBender



Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1400 times:

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
But then why not just extend "regular" season to 18 games instead of 16?

I heard this is being explored to eliminate some of the pre-season games since most teams are now being forced to play 5 pre-season games than the usual 4. I, for one, support the idea of an 18 game season, 2-3 game pre-season. Keep the play-offs as it is.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineCRJonBeez From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1387 times:

as far as i'm concerned, if you have managed to get in the playoffs as a "mediocre" team, so be it! obviously you've done something well enough to take care of business. if you manage to get to the super bowl, you've done EVERYTHING well. the wild card teams are there to balance out the playoff bracket system.

the additional games are to make people like me happy. i don't care for all the dramatics, but i LOVE watching football. if the market warrants the additional games, you go with it.


User currently offlineOli80 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1376 times:

Quoting CRJonBeez (Reply 3):
if the market warrants the additional games, you go with it

So why not play 44+ games a season? If the market warrants it... (which I'm guessing it does - since everytime I'm over there people are going nuts about football)

Why set the limit at 18? They can't use the physicality of the game or fatigue as an excuse can they?!


User currently offlineORFflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1372 times:

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
Any explanations are welcomed.



Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 1):
More hype=more TV=more hype=more TV=much more $$$$$

There you have it.....


User currently offlinePiercey From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 2233 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1370 times:

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 4):
Why set the limit at 18? They can't use the physicality of the game or fatigue as an excuse can they?!

 checkmark 

The other excuse is tickets. Look @, oh, the Cleveland Indians of the MLB. They do well in the beginning, end, and when the good/rival teams come to town, but the rest of the homestands are, what, barely 25,000? NFL doesn't want a similar effect. Also, the NFL would cut into NBA and NHL territory if they go any longer, and they really can't start the season any earlier (pads in early August in SD?) so, they're stuck.



Well I believe it all is coming to an end. Oh well, I guess we are gonna pretend.
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9407 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1370 times:
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Also, if it's just gonna be the two teams with the best records who play in the Super Bowl, then far more teams may just give up 1/2 way through the season. More importantly, many fans may give up as well, and stop attending games or watching them on tv. That equals loss of profits.

On the other hand, if a team has a chance at making the playoffs, then for a lot of people, there's still a reason to watch and/or attend games.

Frankly, I think the playoffs and the race to get into the playoffs add some serious excitement to the game. I mean, look at baseball, where, what, 8 teams get into the postseason? And when a team is, say, 40-80 after 3/4 of the season, not as many people are gonna watch the last 42 games, since they have no chance at anything.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12163 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 1363 times:
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Team W L T PCT PF PA Home Road AFC NFC DIV Streak
Green Bay 8 8 0 .500 301 366 3-5 5-3 1-3 7-5 5-1 Won 4
Carolina 8 8 0 .500 270 305 4-4 4-4 2-2 6-6 5-1 Won 2

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
It's those extra sets of games that can and have allowed generally mediocre teams (such as Carolina) to end up at the Superbowl, while teams that generally did much better (such as Green Bay) end up getting sent home.

Seems to me they did pretty equal...



911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineWellHung From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 1348 times:

Why is this question directed solely at the NFL? The same could be said of any professional or college team sports league, excluding NCAA 1-A football. Playoffs insure that the best teams from each league play each other to determine which team is truly the best. The teams don't play the same schedules, so it is impossible to judge which team is the best by wins and losses alone. Just look at the Colts and Patriots - the 3 and 4 seeds in the AFC were obviously better than the 1 and 2 seeds that had superior records. This is not the case in the NFC, where the 1 and 2 seeds are still playing. Or Pittsburgh last year - a wild card team that won the Super Bowl. The regular season serves to weed out the teams that are clearly not contenders for the top spots. A playoff is the only way to determine which team is the best without a legitimate argument to the contrary. I don't see where the confusion comes from. It's pretty obvious.

User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 1342 times:

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
Why are the "wildcard" and "playoffs" necessary?

more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the owners.

Simple.


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 1326 times:

At least the playoff system in the NFL is as big of a mess as the entire BCS and their stupid polls.

Anyway, this playoff system is pretty much universal for all sports in the US. The NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS and NHL all have one. They all play at first in a kind of league system and then the best of them, depending on the rules, qualify for either a wildcard round or directly for the playoffs. Also, the NFL and MLS are the only pro sports leagues in the US that play only one match per round (there is no best of 5 or best of 7, like in the NBA, NHL and MLB).

In contrast, if you look at European soccer football, a national championship is played in a league system (that is, the one that is number 1 in the standings, wins) and playoffs may only happen when they're to prevent relegation into a lower league or when it's to ascend to a higher league. Exceptions are the cup tournaments and European club tournaments (e.g. the Champions League, from which the MLS took their current playoff system and adapted it).


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1309 times:

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 11):
At least the playoff system in the NFL is as big of a mess as the entire BCS and their stupid polls.

Completely wrong. The playoff system in the NFL makes sense because it is based on record against the division and such.

You are correct that the BCS is a mess since it depends on the human aspect of a poll to determine who is what rank...and that's coming from someone who's team just won the BCS title due to the craziness of it all.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1304 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 12):
The playoff system in the NFL makes sense because it is based on record against the division and such.

I never said that it doesn't make sense.


User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9407 posts, RR: 27
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1296 times:
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Quoting LTU932 (Reply 11):
At least the playoff system in the NFL is as big of a mess as the entire BCS and their stupid polls.



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 13):
Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 12):
The playoff system in the NFL makes sense because it is based on record against the division and such.

I never said that it doesn't make sense.

I think, LTU, in your original post, you meant to say, "At least the playoff system in the NFL ISN'T as big of a mess...." instead of "...IS as big of a mess."

Correct?



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1294 times:

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 4):
So why not play 44+ games a season? If the market warrants it...

The players bodies dont warrant it is the bottom line on that. They only play once a week and that would mean a 10 month season.
The reason they have the playoffs, is the same reason they play every Sunday. It is because nobody knows who wins until you play the game. A surging or experienced wildcard team is often able to defeat a complacent and idle division winner. It makes for exciting football and it makes everyone money. It is a good thing.


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1284 times:

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 14):
I think, LTU, in your original post, you meant to say, "At least the playoff system in the NFL ISN'T as big of a mess...." instead of "...IS as big of a mess."

That is correct. I just saw the typo now, thanks for noticing.


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1284 times:

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 4):
So why not play 44+ games a season? If the market warrants it... (which I'm guessing it does - since everytime I'm over there people are going nuts about football)

From an economic standpoint, the market may not warrant it. Supply and Demand. By keeping the supply low, the demand is high. Fans are nowhere near as crazy for baseball because teams play over 160 games in season.
Then there's the health factor in that the players bodies couldn't handle 44 stressful weeks. This is why American style football will probably never be an Olympic sport. You couldn't play enough games in the short time span.

Quoting Matt D (Thread starter):
Now to a layman such as myself, I would think that the best and most logical path would be taking the two teams, one from each division who had the best record in so-called "regular" season and THOSE are the teams that play in the Super Bowl.

But that's not the case. Why are the "wildcard" and "playoffs" necessary?

The cream will rise to the top, so they should be given a chance too. A team that goes 12-4 may have had a far more difficult schedule than a team that went 13-3. Then there's the "choke" factor; the teams that can play well during the regular season but can't handle the pressure of the postseason. Also, with 32 professional teams (well, 28 since the Raiders, Cardinals, Browns, and Lions don't count as "professional teams"  duck   wink  ) in the NFL and only 16 games played in a season, not every team can play every other team. Plus, factors such as being on the road versus being at home have an influence in the game, not to mention injuries. Therefore, to say the teams with the "best" record from each conference deserves to be in the Super Bowl just isn't true.

For another example, look at the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team. They got humiliated by the Soviet Union in an exhibition game at Madison Square Gardens a couple weeks prior to the start of the Winter Olympics, yet upset the Medal Round, even though the USSR had a better record during the Preliminary rounds.

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 1):
More hype=more TV=more hype=more TV=much more $$$$$



Quoting Halls120 (Reply 10):
more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the owners.

Which I personally have no problem with.  Smile

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
The reason they have the playoffs, is the same reason they play every Sunday. It is because nobody knows who wins until you play the game.

 checkmark 
Hence the phrase, "Any Given Sunday".


User currently offlineOli80 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1275 times:

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 15):
The players bodies dont warrant it is the bottom line on that. They only play once a week and that would mean a 10 month season.



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 17):
Then there's the health factor in that the players bodies couldn't handle 44 stressful weeks.

Not trying to be funny here or anything, but NHL players put their bodies through a lot more (it would seem) and I'm sure you would all agree that rugby players go through just as much, if not more.

I've been to several NFL matches and have normally been there for around 3 hours. Of those 3 hours, I would say that the actual amount of time I saw football, was maybe 30-40 minutes.

My question would be then, why not play 1.5 games a week, 38-40 games a season. It works in the premiership (English top flight football), and the NFL has a much bigger market for seats in stadiums.


User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1275 times:

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 17):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 10):
more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the owners.

Which I personally have no problem with.

Nor do I. Just answering the queston first put forward.


User currently offlineWellHung From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1257 times:

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 18):
NHL players put their bodies through a lot more (it would seem)

Doesn't seem that way to me at all. Since they are skating, there is much less pressure on the joints of the legs, especially. Huge hits in hockey are much less common than in football.

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 18):
I'm sure you would all agree that rugby players go through just as much, if not more.

This is a common misconception by people who have never played football. In football, nearly every player, on every play, is involved in a violent collision. You may think that the linemen, because they're so close to each other and aren't the center of attention, don't get hit that hard. But taking into account that they weigh 300 lbs and are among the strongest men on the planet, that argument clearly doesn't hold water. If you line up against anyone and run into each other as hard as you can 65 times, you ARE going to feel it for a while, pads or no pads. Not to mention the receivers who cross the field while linebackers and safties line up to take their heads off. Rugby players may not wear pads, but they also get hit far less often during a game as they can pitch the ball to avoid getting hit. It is also easier to avoid a big hit.

Not taking anything away from either - they both have their positives and negatives and neither is for a lightweight, but I have played both so I can make an accurate comparison.

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 18):
My question would be then, why not play 1.5 games a week, 38-40 games a season. It works in the premiership (English top flight football), and the NFL has a much bigger market for seats in stadiums.

As it is, you wouldn't want to trade places with an NFL player after 1 game, nevermind 16-20. If it was just a case of getting the players in shape to play, that would be one thing. But the body just can't recuperate in time to play more than one game a week. Playing 40 games a season with a game every 4 days would probably cut the average career down to 2 years. Hardly the best thing for a sport or its athletes.


User currently offlineOli80 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1253 times:

Quoting WellHung (Reply 20):
Rugby players may not wear pads, but they also get hit far less often during a game as they can pitch the ball to avoid getting hit. It is also easier to avoid a big hit

This is just not true. A forward will get hit many many times in a match. Whether it be tackled, running into a mawl, or plowing into a ruck to clear the ball.

Not only that, but being stamped on, hair pulled, scratched and all sorts of other nasties. Sure, American Football players are bigger, but consequently run slower, so despite the power they may have, the momentum they have will be less.

You try watching someone like Habana (a 10 second 100m time) run head on into a stationary player. It hurts. Or pull out the old tapes watch a player like Jonah Lomu destroy Healey.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 20):
Not taking anything away from either - they both have their positives and negatives and neither is for a lightweight, but I have played both so I can make an accurate comparison

I have actually played both too. My university had an American football team, and I played with them several times. Sure it wasn't easy, but I found rugby much tougher on the body.


User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1249 times:

The comparisons here arent quite fair, but some do hold water.

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 18):
Not trying to be funny here or anything, but NHL players put their bodies through a lot more (it would seem) and I'm sure you would all agree that rugby players go through just as much, if not more.

I played hockey growing up and have the missing teeth, scars and the life long limp to prove it. The comparison to football doesnt take into account the off field preparation that goes into it. Think of American football as chess with real life men. The strain one also puts on thier body during the course of a game is tremendous. In hockey, one has to have the puck to be legally hit. In football that is definatly not the case. For instance on special teams, it is 22 guys lining up to run as fast as they can and smash into each other.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 20):
Doesn't seem that way to me at all. Since they are skating, there is much less pressure on the joints of the legs, especially. Huge hits in hockey are much less common than in football.

Huge hits are less common in hockey sure, but those huge hits do more damage probably. The pressure on leg joints are the same but in different parts of the legs. Instead of knees, it is hips and groins.

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 21):
Not only that, but being stamped on, hair pulled, scratched and all sorts of other nasties. Sure, American Football players are bigger, but consequently run slower, so despite the power they may have, the momentum they have will be less.

You would be quite surprised at how fast the big men are in American football. Thier speed is usually measured in 40 yard dashes. I am not detracting anything from rugby players, as I have watched plenty to know they punish thier bodies. But I do notice that Europeans and especially Aussies really like to give yankee football players a tough time about wearing pads. But if they had them play more than once a week and without pads, you would see people literally being killed on the playing field.


User currently offlineWellHung From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1246 times:

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 21):
This is just not true.

So a rugby player can't pitch the ball to avoid a hit? And you don't think it's easier to avoid a hit when you're running forward with a ball with the entire defense in front of you than looking back to catch a ball and not being able to see half the defense?

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 21):
You try watching someone like Habana (a 10 second 100m time) run head on into a stationary player. It hurts.

I could say the same for any NFL running back, though the running backs do it many more times in a game since they not only run and catch the ball, but pick up linebackers who are rushing the quarterback.

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 21):
American Football players are bigger, but consequently run slower,

That may be true for iinterior linemen, but you still have running backs, wide receivers, linebackers, defensive ends, tight ends and some quarterbacks who are both massive and fast.

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 21):
despite the power they may have, the momentum they have will be less.

That's a fundimental misunderstanding of the laws of matter. p=mv

Quoting Oli80 (Reply 21):
I played with them several times.

So you weren't ON the team, you just 'played with them' a few times. Hardly qualifies as playing a sport. Of course, if you played so few times, you wouldn't know how to play. If you were used to rugby, you wouldn't be used to blocking, which is where most of the contact in football takes place. So naturally it wouldn't be hard on your body. I think you'd be better served if you learned how to play the game and endured an entire season.


User currently offlineOli80 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1228 times:

Quoting WellHung (Reply 23):
So a rugby player can't pitch the ball to avoid a hit? And you don't think it's easier to avoid a hit when you're running forward with a ball with the entire defense in front of you than looking back to catch a ball and not being able to see half the defense?

I'm sorry, I quoted too much of your text, I meant to only select the bit about how many hits a player received during a game.

but...

When a rugby player goes down, the hits continue as players come flying in trying to ruck other players off the ball. There is no rest bite.

Quoting WellHung (Reply 23):
If you were used to rugby, you wouldn't be used to blocking, which is where most of the contact in football takes place. So naturally it wouldn't be hard on your body. I think you'd be better served if you learned how to play the game and endured an entire season.

I have played in several training matches and have watched several NFL Europe games, and many NFL games on tv. I am not your average European bashing the NFL. I know the rules and commitment it takes to play this game.

I just think that the sport could do with some more games. Not for me, but for you, the fan. Sure it would be tougher for the players...

Anyway, we are never going to see eye to eye on this.


25 Bushpilot : Speaking for the average US football fan, which I think would be me. I dont live anywhere near a pro-football team. But 16 games and then the playoff
26 DeltaGator : No problem. Your correct thought makes sense. Sorry to be a bugger. You haven't played collegiate or professional football then. That happens every p
27 Post contains images Piercey : As far as hockey goes, how many subs are in a game compared to american football (not counting injuries)? Look @ any RB, WR, QB, LB, SS, FS, and CBs.
28 Vikkyvik : This also happens in the NFL, though not necessarily on every play. Multi-person tackles happen quite often. On a fumble, you'll see 10 guys piling o
29 Planespotting : Baseball basically used to operate in that way -- before the playoff system changed in....94???, the top two teams in each league (the national leagu
30 Bushpilot : Comparing apples and oranges here if I may point out. Hockey usually fields a roster of 20. 2 goalies, 6 defensemen, 12 forwards. Of those in the rot
31 Post contains images WellHung : The current schedule really stresses the importance of every game, whether it means your team gets in the playoffs, gets home field advantage or a by
32 Post contains images KaiGywer : True, so true!
33 PROSA : According to people who've timed NFL games with stopwatches, there's an average of about 12 minutes of ball-in-play action in a game, which as you no
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