What the NFL gets right

The NFL understands that despite what fans say on talk radio about a season’s purpose being to determine the “best” team, that what actually keeps fan watching is the large role that randomness plays in the NFL versus other professional sports.  By having the entire playoffs be sudden death, it virtually guarantees there will be scenarios where the “better” team loses.  Contrast this with MLB where seemingly every season the winner of the AL Central will get lucky and take game 1 of a series against the Yankees/Red Sox only to be eventually overwhelmed by the superior talent of the favorite.  This scenario does not exist in the NFL and for good reason.  Would anyone remember  the Giant’s David Tyree’s amazing catch against the Patriots in the Super Bowl if they’d been playing best of 5 or 7?  Does anyone think the Giants could have defeated that Patriot’s team in a best of 7?  Whenever you watch an NBA or MLB game 7, the announcers always talk about the magic of a game 7 due to it’s finality and how every play’s impact is magnified, with the NFL, every playoff game is a game 7.

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  • Gary

    I agree with this, except they do play the regular season to establish a basis for a teams performance (so it’s not entire randomness – the crappy teams don’t get a chance for the title). I think the NCAA needs to drop the BCS and get a playoff system for football, too many teams are excluded from the randomness.